In business, there has always been the notion that no product is bigger than its marketing. Not only do people have to know about it, they also have to want it. In other words – you need your consumers’ attention, and that does not come cheap. Unless you are Elon Musk, it seems…
On November 21st, 2019 the news of Tesla Cybertruck rippled through the internet in one giant shockwave. Yet, it was not done through an ad campaign, nor clever marketing tricks. What advertising experts cannot do in a lifetime, Elon Musk did in a simple tweet. With it, the whole world exploded in discussions about the new Tesla. And pre-orders followed by the thousands.
From initially disappointed investors to ecstatic fans now everybody knows about the new vehicle. Even if you live under a rock, I bet a colony of ants would have spelled “Cybertruck” for you. But is there substance behind the hype? Or does Tesla just have the most loyal fans ever? Let’s try to figure it out!
What is the Cybertruck anyway?
Although everyone must have heard about the car by now, not many people really understand what it is. I have even had people asking me whether the Cybertruck is not just a joke. Honestly, though, these were my initial thoughts, too. But while the car is real, many still don’t get it. Is it an SUV, a pickup, or what?
Naturally, such a vehicle warrants confusion. It is made worse by the fact that everyone regards Cybertruck differently. Some think it may very well be an SUV, while others consider it something new entirely. Musk himself sees it as a truck with a sports car’s soul. If you want to use it for its utility, you can; yet, you may also push that pedal and enjoy a nice kick!
Let me clear this up though – the vehicle is a pickup, – plain and simple. Don’t buy into this whole clickbaity mess that tells you otherwise. Everybody wants to be edgy and original, so what do they do? They come with made-up reasons why the Cybertruck is not a pickup. None of them hold up.
Sure, it has shiny new additions, improved systems, and so on, but that should not matter. What would you call a sedan with memory seats? A sedan, still! Same thing here.
That is not to say that Tesla’s new model does not have anything to show. Regardless of its gimmicky design, the car definitely packs a punch (along with some other things). Shall we check what it brings to the table?
How Tesla Cybertruck changes the pickup game
For the longest time, pickup trucks have been pretty boring. Sure, there are big old mean machines, but hardly anything more than that. Although lately, manufacturers have been designing some of them for off-roading, most are still workhorses.
As far as work goes, the Cybertruck does not fail to deliver. It offers 100 cubic feet of external cargo space, almost double that of its rival Ford F-150, for example. Additionally, the space is lockable from the get-go, and also offers modular options.
You can ride the car around the farm one day and go camping in it next. Musk has you covered there too, with climate control for the cargo area too. Top that off with a solar panel roof for some energy, and you can pretty much live off that car for a while.
This leads me to another major benefit of the Cybertruck. In a recent article, I have talked about how SUVs could be bad for the environment. Sadly, pickups have the same shortcomings. Of course, they do not apply to new Tesla, as being electric makes it a cleaner workhorse alternative.
All in all, calling this car a swiss-army knife would not be too far from the truth. Well, aside from that “knife” part. But here are some other great things about the Tesla Cybertruck:
- Safety first. Even though the design is a bit quirky, this is perhaps one of the safest cars available. It comes with Tesla armored glass and ultra-hard steel exoskeleton.
- Towing a mobile home. In its top configuration, it has a towing capacity of more than 14,000 lbs. For comparison, the most expensive Ford F-150 engine could only give you 11,600 lbs.
- Top speed to blow you away. As you probably know, electric engines accelerate like crazy. You can go from 0 to 62 in about 3s. However, what impresses me even more is that you can get to 130 mph. Even the weakest engine has its top speed at 110 mph. A sports-pickup for sure!
Being 231.7 inches long and 79.8 inches wide this is no small beast. It also allows for up to 16 inches of ground clearance, which lends to its off-road capabilities. However, with all those things going for it, one cannot help but wonder about the design. Is there a reason for its extravagance?
The design of the Cybertruck – Gimmick or not?
Considering how many people think this Tesla pickup to be a joke, the gimmick seems rather obvious. Some have even called it an excellent example of marketing ingenuity. Musk was able to tap into a special niche – the nerd crowd.
Undoubtedly, nerd culture thrives in the 21st century. Superhero movies are cool, video games are considered sports, and science fiction is not dorky anymore. In other words – nerd is the new normal. Still, the automotive market has been really slow in catering to nerds. Elon Musk showed us why that was a mistake!
Even though investors were initially disappointed, the numbers did not lie. The “pros” considered Cybertruck to be a flop from the get-go, yet in a day and a half, it scored almost 150,000 pre-orders. Not too shabby, right? According to Musk, all of that was done without any advertising.
By now all of our gimmick alarms should be running crazy. However, the design is actually a necessity. Because of the materials used (spacecraft steel), curves are nigh impossible and the blocky aesthetic was inevitable. So rather than figuring out a more mass-market design, Musk turned the drawback into a selling point.
Do you know what I find funny though? I think many companies will misread the whole thing. I would not be surprised if we start seeing more such designs in the future. And they will be bound to flop. I think the success of the Cybertruck was a perfect storm of various factors, which most simply miss…
Why such cars will not be the future
There is something special about Tesla, regardless of whether you like the company or not. It has been spearheading the EV revolution for a while now. However, the company also shows a level of extravagance, largely due to Musk. That has helped the automaker get away with things that would have buried other companies.
Because of all that, I think it is safe to say that the success of the Tesla Cybertruck is a bit weird. It has more to do with the cult following that Tesla has, rather than its actual merits. The love-it-or-hate-it design only adds to the truck’s appeal, regardless of whether people actually like the looks.
Furthermore, in a sea of similar cars, individuality is important. I would take the unique-looking Tesla over any other pickup or SUV any day of the week. At least my choice will stand out. I am sure many other people think along the same lines.
The issue arises when we have to talk a bit more objectively about the Cybertruck design. I doubt that anyone would consider it the pinnacle of car design. Its appeal depends on quirkiness. If all other cars were like that though, no one would have cared about it. Which also tells us why copycats are unlikely to succeed.
At the end of the day, the majority of people DO NOT want a Cybertruck design. It would be a niche market at best. We may see more Tesla models like it, but other manufacturers will not be able to bank on that trend, I believe. That puts the new Tesla at the best place possible – it will remain a pioneer of sorts. Maybe 50 years from now we will even consider it to be among America’s most iconic classics.
Do you like the Tesla Cybertruck?
I cannot push myself to say that the polygonal design of the Cybertruck is a piece of art. It may be charming in its own way, but hardly beautiful. However, I realize that the matter of aesthetics is more of a subjective thing. So I don’t doubt that many people would find it cool regardless of the mainstream opinion. Actually, it has started to grow on me as well.
Do you know what I gather from the whole situation? People enjoy cool new tech in their cars. We want to see new things, stuff that breaks the mold. Experimentation should be encouraged, and we should do away with all those copycat models we see nowadays. You can hardly tell modern cars apart. Sure, maybe don’t go as far as boxes on wheels, but give us something new…
So where do you stand on the Tesla Cybertruck thing? Do you think it is all a gimmick? And even if it is, do you still find it cool? In my opinion, gimmicks are not inherently bad, if the company can deliver on its promises. Let’s hope that Elon Musk and Tesla do not disappoint us with the execution of this one!