autoevolution
Car video reviews:
 

Musk’s Approach to the Cybertruck: To Hell With Market Research, Let’s Kick Butt

Elon Musk has a new interview and he’s saying pretty much what the entire world has been suspecting regarding the Cybertruck. The approach to the first all-electric pickup truck in the world has been more along the lines of “to hell with marketing research, let’s kick some butt and have fun!”
The Cybertruck prototype on display at LA Museum 11 photos
The Cybertruck is on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los AngelesThe Cybertruck is on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los AngelesThe Cybertruck is on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los AngelesThe Cybertruck is on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los AngelesThe Cybertruck is on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los AngelesThe Cybertruck is on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los AngelesThe Cybertruck is on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los AngelesThe Cybertruck is on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los AngelesThe Cybertruck is on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los AngelesThe Cybertruck is on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles
Tesla officially announced the Cybertruck in November last year, during a presentation that saw Elon Musk roll a prototype on a stage and attempt to show off some of its features – to varying degrees of success. Since before that moment, there was a lot of talk online about the unique, never-before-done design and how this was Elon at his most Elon.

Turns out that was the case. Tesla did not build the Cybertruck because there was demand on the market for such a strangely looking vehicle or, if there was, they never knew about it. Tesla did exactly zero market research for the Cybertruck.

“Customer research?” Musk laughs in a new AutoNews podcast. “We just made a car we thought was awesome and looks super weird. I just wanted to make a futuristic battle tank – something that looks like it could come out of Blade Runner or Aliens or something like that but was also highly functional.”

That was the two-fold goal for the Cybertruck from the start: that it looked like it could withstand the apocalypse and that it be really practical. The Cybertruck is meant to be good for all possible scenarios, whether they involve hauling stuff, towing stuff, off-roading and even “smashing boulders,” and the owner would never have to worry about damage to the body or, more importantly, whether they’d get stuck halfway through the job.

As for not taking the usual steps carmakers take before launching a new model, Musk is not stressing out. Should the Cybertruck fail, Tesla’s backup plan involves doing a regular pickup, the kind that’s been done a gazillion times before.

“It can be a better sports car than a Porsche 911, a better truck than an F-150, and it’s armored and looks sort of kickass from the future,” he explains. “That was the goal, recognizing this could be complete failure. But I wasn’t super worried about that because if it turns out nobody wants to buy a weird-looking truck, we’ll build a normal truck, no problem. 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.”

Not that Tesla has to worry about that, at least based on early reservations numbers. So far, some than 500,000 reservations are said to have been placed, but whether they will become actual deliveries in the second half of 2021 remains to be seen.

 
 
 
 
 

Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories