Here's why Tesla's Cybertruck looks the way it does
It's no secret that Tesla's new Cybertruck has a "unique" design. It looks a bit like if you told a five year-old to draw a pickup truck, using only a ruler. However, there is quite a good reason as to why the Cybertruck looks the way it does.
See the issue is that pickup truck buyers are fiercely loyal to their brand of choice. For example, in 2012 a J.D. Power's study revealed that an astonishing 61% of F-150 buyers had stuck to Ford and Ford alone, not even considering other brands. Aside from sheer loyalty there is a very good reason as to why F-150 buyers stick to the F-150. All pickup trucks look the same!
As Elon Musk pointed out onstage pickups have largely remained the same for the past 100 years. With no truly fundamental changes in their exterior and/or interior designs. Furthermore, pickup truck buyers are notoriously anti-electric vehicles. As a result few will switch to companies like Rivian with fairly conservative electric truck offerings.
As a result, if Tesla were to make a cookie-cutter pickup truck with performance equivalent to the Cybertruck no one would buy it! Because most pickup buyers will not buy a mostly similar vehicle just because it's electric.
That's why the Cybertruck looks so strange, it's designed to ignite conversation. Sheer shell-shock design is the only way to get F-150 buyer looking at Tesla's new truck. Even if the first reaction may be laughter, they might see the specs, and then see that it could eat their F-150 with a side of rice.
The immediate challenge Tesla's new truck faces is simply getting F-150 buyers to look at the thing. No matter from what angle they approach the Cybertruck, they will be impressed. Either because of its speed, towing capacity, technology, or even the interior.
It's a great deal!
Now for the second and significantly easier market. Tesla have always been able to attract two cattegories, tech-enthusiasts, and people who didn't think they'd ever buy a pickup truck. These two categories of people have always been Tesla's best customers, by blindly putting money down, and signing on the dotted line with a blindfold on.
These people have amazing confidence when it comes to what Tesla can do both as a car company, and even as a technology company. People like this are why at the time of writing this Tesla have received over 200,000 orders for the Cybertruck, sight-unseen.
Because while traditional truck buyers may be slow to act, internet celebrities, techies, and just plain old Tesla enthusiasts are happy to plop down their money. These people will enable the new truck to reach dealerships, and that's where F-150 buyers come in.
Traditional pickup buyers want an in-person experience, test drives, demonstrations, and the security of speaking to an actual human being. Basically all pickup trucks today are sold in-person at dealerships, and that puts the Cybertruck at a disadvantage. This is why the second category of buyers mentioned earlier are so important, they get the truck into the store. And once traditional truck buyers will be able to drive Tesla's new truck, they may realize that maybe the F-150 is not actually the second-coming.