Failure To Launch: After A Botched Unveiling, The Tesla Cybertruck Has 150,000 Pre-Orders
When Elon Musk finds his name in the headlines, you can guarantee the news will come couched in controversy.
From smoking marijuana during an interview, taking to Twitter to reveal his plans to create a noiseless leaf blower, and even finding time to record his own rap song, the Tesla CEO seems to have more hours in a day than the rest of us – or at least simply uses his far more efficiently. But it was his latest endeavour: the launch of the highly anticipated Tesla pickup truck that has everyone talking.
One of the key features of the truck is that its “ultra-hard” stainless steel exterior “won’t scratch and dent”. That attribute was flagged by Musk throughout the ute’s design and construction, and when it came time to launch the cybertruck to the masses, you can guarantee that this was something Musk wanted to double-down on with a live demonstration.
But when you’re going to make such a bold claim – and broadcast it on a livestream – you should really ensure there is no room for error. It looked like that might be the case when Tesla design chief Franz von Holzhausen swung a sledge hammer at the driver’s side door, only to see it ounce away harmlessly. But when a metal all was thrown at the window, Tesla didn’t get the end result they wanted. Instead, the window cracked like a jar of vegemite hitting the kitchen floor.
Trying to make the best of a situation that offers no recovery, Musk said: “Oh my f***ing God. Well, maybe that was a little too hard.” The ball was then thrown at another window, which cracked the same way. “At least it didn’t go through. That’s a plus side,” joked Musk.
The Cybertruck is great because it offers the perfect blend of owning a pickup truck and the feeling that you’re at burning man all year long.— Aaron Levie (@levie) 22 November 2019
Later though, after everyone lauded the launch as an absolute disaster, Musk took to Twitter to reveal what was meant to happen. In a video shared to his profile, von Halzhausen is seen throwing the ball at the window “right before launch” and, miraculously, the window doesn’t break.
Adding insult to injury, investors didn’t seem too pleased with the stunts that went awry. Tesla’s shares fell 6 per cent after the launch with Cowen Investment Research analyst Jeffrey Osborne writing to investors, “Tesla’s Cybertruck reveal will likely disappoint current pickup truck owners, and we see the vehicle remaining a niche and not a mainstream product.” With the plummet in share price, Musk’s own immense personal net worth plummeted by $768 million, according to Forbes.
The truck was described by Musk as a “really futuristic-like cyberpunk, Blade Runner pickup truck.” Musk also added that it was the vehicle he was most excited about, but a peruse of social media finds that most people aren’t looking so favourably towards the cybertruck. One Twitter user wrote: “The Cybertruck is great because it offers the perfect blend of owning a pickup truck and the feeling that you’re at burning man.”