Tesla CEO Elon Musk indicated that if the company’s Cybertruck tanks in terms of sales, the electric automaker will design and manufacture a “normal” truck with a typical pickup design, but don’t bank on seeing it.
Tesla unveiled its Cybertruck in November 2019, and its design was met with both support and criticisms from automotive enthusiasts. Nobody had ever seen anything like it before: a stainless steel exoskeleton, wrapped over a futuristic and robust frame, powered by a series of electric motors that would give it impressive and useful capability on and off of the road.
Despite the truck’s unique design, it has accrued a massive amount of pre-orders and has caught the attention of many people around the world. Even though Tesla is prepared to design a new, “normal” pickup for those who would like sustainability while hauling, don’t hold your breath on seeing it.
During a recent interview with Automotive News, Elon Musk stated that Tesla was prepared to deal with slumping sales when the Cybertruck is released in late 2021. There is a possibility that the company’s first pickup will not do well, and Musk said that Tesla would adapt.
“If it turns out nobody wants to buy a weird-looking truck, we’ll build a normal truck, no problem,” the Tesla CEO said on the Daily Drive Podcast. “There’s lots of normal trucks out there that look pretty much the same. You can hardly tell the difference. And sure, we could just do some copycat truck. That’s easy. So that’s our fallback strategy.”
Reports from various media outlets, along with a Cybertruck reservation decoder, had estimated that the company’s pickup was pre-ordered over half a million times by the time February had arrived. The most recent update from the Cybertruck Owner’s Club came in late May, and the site had indicated over 713,000 total pre-orders for the truck so far.
One Cybertruck reservation holder who has pre-ordered two Tri-Motor configurations told Teslarati that the second reservation number indicated they were the 792,302 truck ordered. “On 6/15, I put in my 2nd Cybertruck reservation. According to the Cybertruckownersclub.com reservation decoder, that makes me #792,302.”
Although the prospective number of reservations is somewhat astronomical, that isn’t stopping Tesla from preparing for the worst. A back-up plan will be developed to be safe.
Interestingly enough, one of the first segments of the Cybertruck’s unveiling event last Winter started with a comparison of the currently-available pickup trucks that roam on streets in the United States. All trucks will have a cab and a bed, but the design of pickup trucks across manufacturers remains the same on a relative scale. There is very little individualism between vehicle designs. Without badges, it isn’t easy to decipher which car company is making each truck.
Tesla’s goal with the Cybertruck was to create something the world had never seen before. People hadn’t ever seen any vehicle with this type of design in the modern era, but if any company was going to do it, it was going to be Tesla.
Nikola Motors CEO Trevor Milton also offered Tesla and Musk a design for a “broader market.” Milton indicated in the Tweet from November 22, 2019, that Nikola doesn’t build cars or trucks, but their design would be donated to Tesla “just in case.” Since then, Nikola has developed the Badger, which is expected to enter the EV pickup market in the future.
Hey @elonmusk we don't build cars or trucks, but I'm happy to donate this truck design if your team wants to hit a broader market. My team designed it just in case and I'm happy to let you build it since we won't. Let me know and we can talk pic.twitter.com/c5PaHFXTEe
— Trevor Milton (@nikolatrevor) November 22, 2019
Whether Tesla builds a traditional truck design remains to be seen. Judging on the popularity and pre-order estimations of the Cybertruck, Tesla will likely not need to design a new pickup that will appeal to a broader market. Of course, consumers will have to wait and see what happens with the car between now and the initial production runs, because Tesla is constantly changing the Cybertruck’s design to make it the strongest vehicle on the road.
“Things are seeming more apocalyptic these days. Let me tell you, the truck you want in the apocalypse is the Cybertruck,” Musk said.
The Cybertruck’s Dual and Tri-Motor variants will be available in late 2021, with the Single Motor configuration coming in 2022. The truck will be manufactured at Tesla’s new Austin, Texas Gigafactory.