Tesla Cybertruck: Disappointment and Fascination Surrounds Futuristic Pickup
The highly anticipated Cybertruck from Tesla has sparked both disappointment and fascination among consumers. The vehicle, which entered the hot pickup truck market, falls short of the driving ranges that CEO Elon Musk had promised. Despite the delay in its release, the Cybertruck carries a futuristic, SUV-like feel that captivates some consumers.
Reddit co-founder, Alexis Ohanian, who was among the first customers to pick up the vehicle, described the Cybertruck as resembling Tesla’s Model X sport utility vehicle. He praised its smooth driving experience and noted that it was not overwhelmingly large. Ohanian even live-streamed his first drive of the Cybertruck, declaring that he would be the “coolest dad” picking up his child from school.
However, the disappointment stems from the Cybertruck’s price, which exceeds CEO Elon Musk’s earlier claims. With a starting price of $60,990, the Cybertruck is over 50% more expensive than initially advertised in 2019. This inflated cost may limit its appeal to potential buyers, as Tesla’s stock has already dropped over 2% since the launch.
One disappointed customer, Christian Cook, a Texas-based financial services executive, had reserved a Cybertruck in 2019 based on Musk’s promise of an affordable pickup with an impressive driving range. Cook expressed his dissatisfaction, stating that the truck’s pricing and range were a significant letdown. This disappointment has tarnished his respect and loyalty towards Musk and Tesla.
Analysts, including CFRA analyst Garrett Nelson, predict that the high price tag will lead to reservation cancellations. They expect Tesla to adjust the pricing based on demand in the future. Despite the disappointment, analysts and branding experts believe that the Cybertruck, made of bullet-proof stainless steel and inspired by a James Bond car-turned-submarine, will help uplift Tesla’s brand image. The company has faced challenges due to steep price cuts implemented to boost demand, resulting in a need for a brand refresh.
Spencer Imel, a partner at consumer insights firm Langston, believes that the Cybertruck generates significant attention and puts Tesla back in the spotlight. However, he doubts that it will enable Tesla to compete with mass-market brands like Ford, which cater to everyday car buyers.
In addition to the pricing disappointment, concerns have arisen regarding Tesla’s ability to ramp up production and achieve positive cash flow. Musk’s recent controversial remarks during a live interview, where he cursed out advertisers who left his social media platform, have further raised doubts among investors and consumers. These incidents have caused some of Tesla’s early adopters, who once saw Musk as a rebel leading the way towards a sustainable future, to view him now as a misguided individual.
Analysts warn that the Cybertruck will not contribute significantly to Tesla’s financials next year. Bernstein, an investment firm, predicts only 250 deliveries of the Cybertruck this year and 75,000 next year, considering both estimates as ambitious. Musk has stated that Tesla aims to produce approximately 250,000 Cybertrucks per year by 2025. However, the company has repeatedly highlighted the challenges it faces in achieving these goals and becoming cash flow positive, potentially impacting profitability until at least mid-2025.
As Tesla battles declining electric vehicle demand and rising competition, a brand refresh becomes critical. Bernstein analysts emphasize that Tesla has a product problem, with an older lineup that does not address enough of the market, and no new mass-market offerings until late 2025.
In conclusion, the Tesla Cybertruck has evoked mixed reactions from the public. While some admire its futuristic design and driving experience, disappointment looms due to higher-than-expected prices and delayed promises. Tesla will need to address these concerns and refresh its brand to remain competitive in the evolving electric vehicle market.