Why Tesla can’t ditch the Cybertruck for a traditional pickup design

Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveils futuristic Cybertruck in Los Angeles, Nov. 21, 2019 (Photo: Teslarati)

The Tesla Cybertruck is so “Tesla,” it’s not even debatable. To me, at least. The truck is the true embodiment of everything the electric automaker had stood for during the last seventeen years when it was established in 2003. It breaks all the rules; it goes against the look and feel of “traditional” automotive manufacturing. It is a rebellious statement against the normal boundaries of what a truck is “supposed” to be. Making a traditional, typical, and standard pickup truck would break all of Tesla’s rules, and if the company ends up designing it, it would mean that the legacy automakers have won.

Earlier this week, CEO Elon Musk said that if the Cybertruck happens to tank in sales, Tesla will end up designing a more traditional pickup for the market to consider. Even though I openly said I don’t think that Tesla will have to worry about designing and manufacturing a Cybertruck alternative, the possibility still worries me.

I know what many of you are probably thinking. “Joey, that’s really extreme.” Or, maybe, “Joey, that’s ridiculous, Tesla is just doing what it can to stay competitive in a popular market in case the Cybertruck tanks.”

Sure, I can agree with the second one from an economic standpoint for the company, but I certainly don’t see my point of view as extreme.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveils futuristic Cybertruck in Los Angeles, Nov. 21, 2019 (Photo: Teslarati)

Tesla’s Cybertruck, when it was unveiled, shocked the world. It made everyone question what the company was doing. I’ll admit, when I saw that beast roll out onto the stage in Hawthorne, California, I was skeptical. I think I said something along the lines of, “What the hell is that thing?”

But as the presentation went on, I found myself increasingly interested in what Tesla was doing. I realized it was meant to be ridiculous, different, and “polarizing,” as so many people like to call it. It made the entire automotive industry look at the company, and it has worked thus far because it is arguably the most talked-about vehicle in recent memory.

Let’s be honest: Tesla has always broken the rules. Skeptics said the Model S would fail. It didn’t. They said Tesla couldn’t attain a considerable or acceptable range for its EVs. The company did and has scrapped vehicle models that aren’t capable of “acceptable range” of over 250 miles. They said the company couldn’t make an affordable vehicle. The Model 3 and Model Y are both mass-market cars geared toward affordability. They said Tesla couldn’t turn a profit. It just did, for the fourth consecutive quarter.

Tesla has always done what people said wasn’t possible. The Cybertruck is just one of the latest examples.

When the Cybertruck was unveiled, people said, “Nobody will buy that.” “It’s ugly.” “Even if people buy it, it won’t perform well against petrol-powered pickups.”

It has a substantial amount of pre-orders. According to CybertruckOwnersClub’s reservation number decoder, it has over 750,000 pre-orders.

It may be ugly to some, but that’s an opinion and subjective. I find the truck unique and beautiful in its own way.

The Cybertruck won a Tug-of-War against an F-150.

There are those three theories debunked.


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But more significant than that, the Cybertruck is really an embodiment of Tesla’s mission as a whole. It has always been to prove the doubters wrong, to change the way people look at cars. Before Tesla, people saw their everyday drivers as a way to get from Point A to Point B. Some were faster than others, some were louder than others, and some had better stereos than others. The point is, when Tesla’s came out, their vehicles became more than a daily transportation outlet. They became entertainment machines, and they changed the way the world looked at a car.

The Cybertruck did the same thing. It changed the way people looked at trucks, even though nobody has one yet. It is a summarization of what Tesla has always meant and tried to convey to people. Change the way people look at something, and the possibilities become limitless. Before the Cybertruck, people thought that the “truck” had to have a cab, a bed, and look nearly the same as every other pickup on the market. But that’s the thing. Tesla has never used the rules or the “typical” idea for anything. That’s what makes Tesla, Tesla.

People knew battery-powered cars were possible, but nobody was good at it. The other car companies in the world were too focused on making their petrol engines more advanced at the time. After all, nobody was anxious about climate change at the time. At least, it wasn’t widely accepted by people until the mid-2000s from what I remember.

Tesla changed all of that. They proved electric cars didn’t have to be slow, or boring “like a golf cart,” as Elon Musk once said.

In my opinion, we won’t see a traditional Tesla truck. I don’t think the Cybertruck will tank in terms of sales, and I don’t believe that Tesla will be interested in being just another car company that makes a truck that looks like everyone else’s.

The Cybertruck goes against all the rules, and that’s more “Tesla” than anything.

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Joey Klender: Transportation Writer | Penn State Alum | Future World Series of Poker Bracelet Holder 🚀 🛰 ☀️ 🚘 🧠 🕳
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