Opinion: The Tesla Cybertruck Won’t Change the Game


opinion the tesla cybertruck won t change the game

Now that I’ve had nearly a week to digest the Tesla Cybertruck news, I’ve come to the conclusion that the Cybertruck will neither revolutionize the automotive market nor be such a flop that it kills Tesla.

Yes, I wrote a while back that the truck would be a sales flop. I still think it could be, though obviously “flop” is relative to what Tesla expects. Perhaps the company has more realistic expectations than what we’ve seen publicly.

Based on the specs we covered last week and the truck’s aesthetics and pricing, I think the Cybertruck is going to sell to a limited number of customers.

Those customers will be a mix of Tesla loyalists, those who actually think it looks good, and folks who want to have the most interesting ride. Some celebrities and other wealthy folk are a mix of all three.

I don’t think the average truck buyer who’s thinking EV is going to move away from a Ford Lightning or Rivian — the Cybertruck appears to be limited in its ability to be used for utilitarian purposes. Maybe not as limited as some of its harshest critics suggested during the long lead up between the unveiling of the prototype and last week’s official launch, but still not quite on par with a traditional truck that happens to have an EV powertrain.

opinion the tesla cybertruck won t change the game

There’s no doubt you’ll see Cybertrucks in the wealthiest parts of LA, and in Silicon Valley, and at valet stands at hot restaurants across the country. I don’t think you’ll see many used for towing or off-roading.

I could be wrong — opinions and predictions often are. But I just don’t see Johnny the electrician, Mary the Rancher, or Jennifer the horse breeder buying these trucks for work purposes.

This is not Tesla hate or as I’ve seen it elsewhere, some form of derangement syndrome. And admittedly I, like most people, have yet to drive the vehicle or even see it in person. I am basing this early judgment off of reported specs and pictures.

Personally, I don’t HATE the Cybertruck. I don’t love its looks, though it’s not the ugliest mass-production vehicle I’ve ever seen (that honor probably still belongs to the Pontiac Aztek). I might enjoy driving it — I won’t know for a while, if ever. I just don’t think it’s going to move the needle as a utility vehicle — it’s going to sell to certain types of buyers, as mentioned above.

That might still be enough for Tesla to make a profit, or at least not nearly bad enough to bring doom for the company, as some naysayers have predicted.

One need not hate a vehicle to think it won’t be some revolutionary product.

The Cybertruck may or may not be a flop. But it’s not going to be a megahit.

[Images: Tesla]

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