Last night I watched the unveiling of Tesla’s new “Cyber Truck”. This was the first time I’d ever watched one of their product releases live and I gotta say, it was kind of awkward. I mean, it doesn’t need to be an overproduced piece of wizardry but it could have been a little more smooth and streamlined. Elon Musk didn’t seem particularly comfortable on stage. The whole format of him doing semi-introductory statements to certain details on the truck, followed by them appearing in unremarkable text on the screen behind him, then saying things like “yeah” and waiting awkwardly for the audience to cheer…it was just strange. Tesla has done an incredible job of expanding their product through word of mouth but it seems that they could use some assistance in facilitating product launches.
On to the Cyber Truck. Musk pretty much nailed it when he said “it’s like nothing else”. If Tesla’s goal was to get people talking passionately about the truck (spoiler alert – it was), they absolutely succeeded. To put it as diplomatically as I can, the Cyber Truck is not easy on the eyes. OK, but seriously though, it’s hideous.
I think I understand what they are trying to do, and sure, there’s probably an audience for a crazy Total Recall-like vehicle that looks like it could be used on Mars in a post-apocalyptic future. The performance and various utility features they announced and showed off are intriguing. There was a pic on Instagram that showed the back being used as sort of a half tent contraption for camping. That seems like a cool feature. Despite the mishap with the windows cracking, the truck being super sturdy and bullet-proof – that all seems fine. The attempt to show off that modern pick-up trucks all look the same and have not changed for a century- I get it, but I think they completely missed the mark on styling. I believe part of the reason why people buy full sized trucks from Dodge, Ford, and GMC is because they are generally visually appealing, in addition to their various other features and functions. It doesn’t really matter if you can’t tell them apart if the badges are removed. People like the way they look and function.
Tesla really missed an opportunity here. They could have introduced something a little less extreme, something like Simone Giertz’s “Truckla“, but a little bit bigger and sturdier, and less painful to look at. The styling on the Model S is great. The Model 3 isn’t as attractive as the S but it’s a decent looking vehicle. I mentioned in my last post that I think the Model X is pretty unattractive. Perhaps Tesla’s intent was to change people’s opinions on the Model X by introducing something so infinitely uglier. Well, it definitely worked. Today while driving next to a Model X on the highway, I found myself admiring some of the lines and appreciating the lack of triangles. OK, back to my original thought. Tesla could have introduced something more inspired by their current models, displayed all the awesome quirks and features (shout out to Doug DeMuro), and then as their “one more thing”, introduced the Mars Rover Trianglemobile. Boom. You’re welcome. Tesla, I’ll gladly work for you for the right price.