Miller: New Tesla Cybertruck Unveiling Goes off With a Bust(ed Window)
At some point, you just have to think Elon Musk actually plans for his Tesla unveilings to have something go wildly wrong.
During the Thursday reveal of Tesla’s new Cybertruck, chief designer Franz von Holzhausen first took a sledgehammer to the company’s latest electric offering.
It all went downhill after that.
After the hammer, von Holzhausen took out a metal ball, threw it at the truck and spider-webbed the front driver-side window.
To make matters worse, after an expletive from Musk, they took a second ball and broke then back driver-side window.
— Casey Dwyer (@Casey_Dwyer) November 22, 2019
All the breakage came amid claims from Musk that the truck was bulletproof, as it is laden with armored windows.
Remember, Tesla has had glass issues before.
In 2016, the company revealed glass solar roof tiles to help support its acquisition of Solar City. The biggest issue is that the company has yet to mass produce its Solarglass panels in the three years since their unveiling.
My guess would be if being Tesla’s chief designer doesn’t pan out, von Holzhausen could get a Major League Baseball contract out of the spectacle.
The new Cybertruck is modeled after a vehicle seen in the opening scenes of the 1982 sci-fi cult classic (and one of my personal favorites) “Blade Runner.”
Following its opening, Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) stock moved up nearly 2% on Thursday. But as of 3 p.m. Friday, the stock took a dramatic turn the other direction — falling more than 6%.
While the big reveal drew a lot of headlines — mainly about glass breaking — it did little to quell any investor concerns about the new truck and its $39,900 base price tag.
“While the materials used appear robust, there could be questions about the truck’s durability when used under work conditions, especially in light of its seemingly unibody construction,” analysts at Deutsche Bank said in a research note, according to CNBC. “And the shattering of the truck’s unbreakable glass windows during the live demonstration was not a good start.”
The Cybertruck will be the sixth vehicle in the Tesla stable, and will certainly be its ugliest as the body resembles the 90-degree paneling of an F-117 stealth fighter.
America loves pickup trucks. Can Elon Musk win drivers over with a Tesla “Cybertruck”? https://t.co/EyVu7b5yYU
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) November 22, 2019
And why in the world does a truck need armored glass? It adds weight, which means the electric-powered engine will have to work that much harder to achieve any kind of speed or horsepower.
Honestly, there is nothing appealing about Tesla’s new Cybertruck offering that even remotely justifies a price tag like $40,000 and more. If you want to add autonomous driving, you’ll have to plunk down another $7,000 — and wait for those features to actually be developed.
Yeah, I think I’ll pass.
And, while the U.S. truck market remains huge — nearly 3 million owned in the U.S. — the Mad Max of pickup trucks will have a difficult time competing with Ford’s newly unveiled all-electric Mustang SUV and its current flagbearer, the F-150.
At first glance, the look of Tesla’s first offering into the truck market is hideous and its chances of denting into any significant market share are equally ugly.