Musk trying to deflect Tesla Cybertruck debut disaster


Tesla CEO Elon Musk is working overtime trying to put a positive spin on the embarrassing launch of the Tesla pick-up truck known as the Cybertruck.

Musk tweeted that the Bladerunner-inspired Cybertruck, which Tesla states is a “better truck than an F-150, faster than a Porsche 911”, has received 146,000 orders.

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Musk also reminded everyone that these “orders” came “with no advertising and no paid endorsement.”

There are now 187,000 pre-orders which is in fact merely people paying US$100 each, fully refundable, for a Cybertruck Motor Vehicle Pre-Order Agreement. To actually buy a Tesla Cybertruck, customers also have to take other steps.

The pre-order price is a lot less than previous electric vehicles unveiled by Tesla. To preorder one of Tesla’s forthcoming crossover SUVs, the Model Y, customers had to lay down a heftier US$2,500 deposit. In 2016, Tesla took pre-orders for the Model 3 at US$1,000.

Musk is seeking a positive spin on Tesla’s latest vehicle after the disastrous debut of the Cybertruck saw shares in Tesla fall 6.1% in Friday trading to close at US$333.04.


“The shattering of the truck’s unbreakable glass windows during the live demonstration was not a good start,” Deutsche Bank said in a note.

At the truck’s unveiling, Musk tried to showcase the truck’s durability by having the company’s design chief Franz hurl a metal ball at one of the Cybertruck’s armoured glass windows.

The window ended up cracking. Then another ball was thrown at another window and it shattered too.

“We threw wrenches, we threw everything even literally the kitchen sink at the glass and it didn’t break. For some weird reason, it broke now,” a disbelieving Musk said at the launch. “I don’t know why. We will fix it in post.”

The stunt helped make the Cybertruck the subject of memes and media coverage around the world. Musk had put down the makers of pick up trucks before the debaclke.

“Trucks have been the same for a very long time,” Musk said. “Like a hundred years, trucks have been basically the same. We want to try something different.”

The Cybertruck is Tesla’s sixth electric vehicle since the company was founded in 2003. It was seen as a potential competitor to best selling pickups like the Ford F Series and General Motor’s Chevrolet Silverado, before its debut.

It will cost US$39,900.

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