26 novembre 2019

Why Tesla Cybertruck is the only real game changer in car industry.

Most of the automotive press has covered Tesla Cyberstryck's -- the futuristic electric powerd pickup -- presentation the last week. Actually, the majority of posts and articles referred to that as an "epic fail" or disaster -- as you recall, while introducing the armored body and glasses, the guy threw a steel ball and smashed two windows.

Since the materials and components have been presumably tested before the show, arguably something went wrong with the product. Indeed, a couple days after, Tesla posted a video on Twitter when they demonstrated that the glasses could resist a strong impact with ice balls.
By the way, I presume that all the journalists and bloggers who wrote "failure" have already been informed that Tesla collected roughly 150.000 preorders after the "catastrophic" presentation. I wouldn't call it a complete disaster.

I won't cover this fact--there are tons of posts and news which debate on every single glass molecule. Instead, I'd rather to point out the reasons why this vehicle has chances to significantly impact the industry and change the market's rules and balance.

  1. the brave choice of making a pickup
  2. the brave choice to propose a new shape, finally 
  3. the armored structure
  4. the "preorder" selling format

1. Tesla is entering the pickup market. 

After hitting the market with two sedans and a SUV, instead of presenting a new compact SUV or another sedan or even a sport car, which would have been a foregone choice, Tesla's histrionic CEO Elon Musk made the brave choice to design and build a pickup.
With this move, the car maker is officially entering one of the most competitive, atttractive, distinctive and diffcult car segment in the USA and, potentially, in other regions of the world. This means that Tesla decided to compete with GM, Ford, Toyota, Volkswagen and Nissan: a clash of the Titans where failure can be a realistic option.
Also, Tesla should be good enough to convince a wide segment of consumers -- the pick up enthusiasts -- which ranges from the costruction workers to the rural states inhabitants to the Southern States "average drivers".
The common trait of these drivers is a certain reluctance to "big" change (which does not necessarily translate into a conservative mentality) so the Cybertruck's advantages and the topics of discussion must be very convincing.
I think that persuading the potential consumers to switch from a large displacement internal combustion engine to a zero emission eletric engine, together with the unusual shape, will be one the most intriguing challenges.

2. The shape.

Thousands words have already been written on the Cybetruck's unusual body shape. Everyone has his strong or mild opinions, and I respect all of them. I believe that presenting a quite traditional vehicle (pickups must be conservative by nature) with a super innovative, futuristic shape which seems to come direclty from a sci-fi movie is Tesla's second brave choice. And even if when it comes to offroad vehicles I tend to be quite conservative (I own a 1989 all original Sukuki Samurai), I think that the Cybertuck is -- so far -- one of the few brave, innovative and game changing design ever.
I recall -- back in my childhood in the early 80s -- a series of amazing book which I received for Christmas or other anniversaries, and which I used to read for hours and hours: they were "scientific" books intendend for young guys and they were about the future and the upcoming technologies. Of course they covered the cars of the future, and the authors imagined what cars would look like in 2020: basically very similar to a Tesla Cybetruck. What's, instead, in the market in 2020: a boring series of front-wheel drive, gas powered (or hybrid) compact SUVs. Honestly: they look all alike. Cybertruck does not. It's finally changing the design rules.

3. The armored structure. 

Forget for one minute the smashed wondow glasses. By the way, who cares. They already fixed it. It was embarassing but not a tragedy.
Even if everyday thousands moms pick up their kids to school driving a a full size, gasoline powered Tundra, originally Pick-ups are robust cars originally intended for heavy duties like loading and towing heavy stuff.
Tesla moved this concept to the next level, with a brilliant, thus debatable, idea: an armored body, strong enough to withstand hammer blows and iron balls thrown from close range.
Even if I am unsure that hitting a Toyota Prius with a kind of tank can be considered fair, I can't help but love the idea of a (practically) armored pickup loaded with big tyres and a unreassuring face.
I presume that -- given the high clearance and the powerful engine(s) -- the Cybertruck will come with off road capabilities. But the question is another: what are Tesla analysts trying to say exactly? That it's the right vehicle to escape from a zombie apocalypse? That they envisage a ramp up in urban violence due to climate changes in the next 3-4 years? Or simply that your 70 yeras old aunt won't have to worry about scratching the car when she parks in front of Walmart on Saturday afternoon?

4. The sale model. 

Even if preorders aren't any new in most of the industries, it's still a bit unusual when it comes to cars. But it's brilliant, indeed. Despite the smashed glasses, Tesla received roughly 146000 preorder confirmations in a few hours. By the way, most of the preorders were placed for the double engine model. At 100$ each, Tesla secured almost 15 mln $. It's not a huge bunch of money but it's an effective way to 1) put some fuel in the project; 2) convert a number of car passionate guys in potential customers.


1) I'm not native so please accept my apologies for any mistake in the text
2) I'm not an automotive industry professional, just a passionate petrol guy. So this post represents my ideas and opinion only.