Tesla Cybertruck is getting closer to production, and as the automaker’s first new model in three years, the company badly needs it to gain its momentum back.
But can the electric pickup truck live up to Elon Musk’s hype and the 1.5 million pre-orders?
Musk has been hyping the Cybertruck as not only Tesla’s best vehicle yet but as possibly the best product ever.
The CEO is known for his use of hyperbole, but he has some credibility when it comes to Tesla’s vehicle programs since each model has raised the bar in one way or the other in the auto industry.
While the launch of the vehicle in 2019 wasn’t without issue or criticism, with the unbreakable window demonstration failing and the polarizing design of the truck, the hype around it has been quite successful.
Musk announced that Tesla received over 250,000 reservations for the Cybertruck within a week of unveiling the vehicle.
Generally, Tesla receives a lot of reservations early after an unveiling, and then it tapers off – but that wasn’t the case with the Cybertruck.
Even throughout the pandemic, sources told us that some Tesla stores were getting hundreds of Cybertruck reservations per week, and Cybertruck pre-orders even helped boost sales.
By 2021, a crowdsourced Cybertruck reservation tally was putting the pre-orders at over 1 million units.
Now in 2022, the same tally put Tesla Cybertruck reservations at over 1.5 million units.
That’s unprecedented demand – though to be fair, Tesla is only asking for a $100 refundable deposit per reservation, which is not the strongest show of interest. But even if the actual order take rate ends up being relatively low, this is still extremely strong demand.
Lately, we have reported on several moves by Tesla showing progress in bringing the electric truck pickup truck to production at Gigafactory Texas. The company says that it is on track for starting production in mid-2023.
Will the production Tesla Cybertruck live up to all the hype?
I’m leaning toward yes. No matter what you think of Elon Musk or Tesla as a company, the automaker’s vehicle programs themselves have never disappointed.
Its latest, the Model Y, is on its way to becoming the best-selling car in the whole world.
If Tesla would deliver the Cybertruck at the price point and with the specs originally announced in 2019, I think it would undoubtedly beat the Model Y.
However, I think it’s clear that’s not going to happen at this point. Tesla might stick to roughly similar specs, but the price would have to be likely 10-20% higher due to inflation over the last three years.
Top comment by Mark Thomas
I think the author (Fred) got it right here. I also agree with his hesitancy and his cautiously optimistic outlook. Let's be candid, Tesla still makes great vehicles, but Elon Musk has taken the love out of this love affair and multi-year delays and large price increases by Tesla are not as easy to overlook as they once were.
I think the price range of the Cybertruck will be closer to $50,000-$90,000, and Tesla will – as always – start with deliveries of the higher-end versions.
Even with the higher price, I think the program should be highly successful as long as the specs are similar. I get the brutalist appeal of the stainless steel, paintless body of the truck. Combined with the utility of the vehicle, I think a lot of people will see the Cybertruck rise on the top of their list for a new truck.
Tesla is putting all its top people on it, including David Zhang, Tesla’s longtime Model S and Model X program manager. Zhang also led the Model Y program for a year and did the same for the Cybertruck until the design was locked and going to production.
When it comes to the actual vehicles, I have never been disappointed by Tesla, and I don’t expect the Cybertruck to break the streak.
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