The CyberTruck Won't Sell 250k Units on Release
In case you are not up to date on the whole Cybertruck thing, (where have you been the last week?) let me give you a quick rundown. Tesla unveiled their new pickup truck releasing in 2020, with a towing capacity of 14,000 lbs and a 0-60 of less than 2.8 seconds on the top trim. It supposedly will come with (or have an optional) electric ATV, and the truck starts at $39,900.
Last night, Elon Musk tweeted that the Cybertruck has reached 250,000 units. This seems like a monstrous amount. But, what people don't realize is that it's only $100 to reserve a Cybertruck. Now sure, some people will actually go through and pick up a Cybertruck, but, the majority of the people are. Think about it, how many people are posting on their Instagram stories or social media that they reserved one? For $100, the views and clicks and likes they will get it pretty high. Then, they can just get the $100 back afterwards. Or, they will just forget about it and refund it when the truck actually comes out.
Additionally, let's take a look at the cost to reserve the previous Tesla models. The Roadster has a $50,000 refundable deposit. The Model Y has a refundable deposit of $2,500. The Model 3 reservation cost was $1,000. The Model X reservation cost anywhere from $5,000-$40,000. The Cybertruck 's reservation cost only $100. It seems like they did it to get a $25,000,000 interest free loan, and to generate hype about the car, which isn't a bad idea.
As for people who think that the truck looks sleek and nice, we all have different opinions. But, I don't think that the government will allow camera to replace mirrors. I don't see that happening when it's a federal law.
Let's move onto value. Personally, the value for me just isn't here. With the Model S, it's stellar performance and an awesome range for an almost unbeatable price. But, with trucks, it's different. The Cybertruck starts at $39,900, while a 2020 F-150, which is what Tesla likes to compare it to, starts at $28,495. While the base towing capacity is a difference of about 3,000 lbs, I don't think it's worth the additional $11,405. I agree with Doug DeMuro on this one, and I think the Cybertruck belongs in the heavy duty pickup market because of the pricing.
The F-350, which can tow 12,000 lbs, starts at just $35,220. The Cybertruck that can tow 14,000 lbs starts at $69,900. For Chevy, their base model Silverado Heavy Duty, which starts at $37,000 can tow 14,500 lbs. The top tier Silverado 2500 can tow 18,500 lbs, which starts right around $70,000. Additionally, Chevy claims the Silverado 3500 can tow 35,000 lbs.
Also, the Cybertruck doesn't have a lot of features that will sell trucks. Tesla has an insane 0-60 on the Cybertruck, but truck buyers don't really care about that. When you use a Cybertruck to tow, I would imagine the range would be insanely diminished while towing on a road trip. Autopilot might be an advantage, but other manufacturers are really catching up.
Brand loyalty is huge in the truck market. That's the reason that the huge Chevy vs. Ford rivalry exists. Additionally, there isn't a massive market for electric trucks. In fact, a huge portion of truck culture and rolling coal and stuff of that sort, which obviously, you can;t do in an electric truck. Truck people care about their Cummins and their DuraMax's, but will they care about an EV truck? I have a hard time believing that they will.
Rivian, the new electric startup has the new R1T, which starts at $69,000. I prefer the styling of the Rivian, and I think it looks ten times better. It has similar statistics to the Cybertruck, so we will have to see how that plays out.
Credit: Graham Stephan and More Doug DeMuro made awesome videos on this topic which I watched before writing this.