A Little Too Much Exposure?

I wanted to take a few days to let this week’s biggest story, percolate for a bit before really saying anything about it. To begin with, those of you who have read my other posts regarding Tesla or Elon Musk, thank you for reading them and interacting with me: it makes the OPPO and Jalopnik experience worth participating in.

Compiling those other posts to form an educated synopsis about my opinion of Tesla and Musk, you may come to the conclusion that I am not a fan of either. This simply is not true!

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To the contrary, I think Elon Musk is exceptionally smart, somewhat charismatic and a fascinating guy: he does have faults however, many of them. As for Tesla as a company, I hope they make it. The industry needs Tesla and companies like it to not just shake up the industry but to move it forward.

Now we have the Cyber Truck, and I’m struggling to place it firmly in my mind: where does it fit? How does it fit? Is it ugly and does that matter? Can and will it actually compete against the F150, Silverado and Ram?

Aside from those big ‘industry’ questions, the main one is always this with Tesla products: Will people actually buy it in big numbers?

Before you can answer the BIG question, you need to examine and answer the smaller odd ball queries that those of us who work in the industry have. For example: why use heavy rolled stainless steel for the body? What seriously is the point of ‘bullet proof’ window glass in this vehicle? Tesla has never met its announced sales price for any product, how can this one? Given that trucks are used hard and this is marketed as a hard use truck, is Tesla prepared for the inevitable onslaught of repairs?

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I certainly don’t want to go too detailed and technical and I’m sure most of you have other and even better questions regarding this truck and all that surrounds it but I think these articles from Jalopnik do an amazing job of exposing some of the views from 30,000ft and the reasons why the Cyber Truck is what it was presented as.

I’ve never been a fan of Raphael Orlove but every once in a while he produces and gem and this is one of them:

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My apologies to his family if they feel I have besmirched their family name and or their loved one

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I think most of the top line questions are addressed in these articles with some very poignant insights scribed for our benefit. Take the time to read all 3, they are worth it.

As for me, what do I think?

Given that we are 2 years from actually being able to buy one, so Mr. says, but sure as shit you can put a deposit down right now, keeping in mind Tesla have never made an announced deadline, It’s nothing but pure speculation on my part.

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You will never be able to buy a $40K version of this truck! To be honest, I don’t think people want that anyways. I think people want expensive vehicles from Tesla. Tesla vehicles shouldn’t compete with or be compared to the offerings from GM/Ford/FCAPC(not sure what to call Chrysler anymore) or even any of the JDM brands.

No, Tesla buyers want to be in the same club with BMW/MB/upper tier VW Group and beyond. And as sure as the Wicked Witch of the West’s nipples could cut glass, Tesla’s investors want the brand up market as well. We, meaning average Joes like you and I, we’re the ones who want the $35K Model3. BTW, this is why the investor class was upset and punished $TSLA stock after the last earnings report: Tesla sold more cars but the Model3 accounted for that big increase but the profit per vehicle was way down when compared to Model S and Model X: they sold more cars but the revenues went down.

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You don’t need 500 miles or range or a truck you could do the Baja with. WTF for? I love the Baja, I watch it on TV and that is the extent to which I can and want to participate in it. This fantasy we all have of being rugged outdoors men who live out of their trucks and are prepared all the time for the inevitable apocalypse is nothing but fucking horse shit!

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Offroading is fun and you should give it a go, you will not regret it. Go camping, real camping not ‘glamping’. Most people only have 2 weeks’ vacation form their M-F and that’s it. This idea we can be 24/7 Bear Grylis types is just fantasy, STOP IT!

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This is a niche truck for a niche market.

Maybe Tesla and Musk have to over promise and hype things to us in order to keep going and just survive? Maybe it is all just BS to line a few people’s pockets? Maybe Mr. Musk still does believe he’s an environmental crusader? Maybe, I’m totally wrong?

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So how does the Cyber Truck sit in my brain? Where and how does it fit in the world? I don’t know! I do not hate it! I kind of like it, at least the idea of it. However, it asks more questions than it answers.

Bottom line, with the Detroit 2 and a half, their electric pickup offerings are right around the corner, probably before the Cyber Truck actually is on showroom floors, will there be a more ‘standard’ or traditional option with useful and useable technology at a somewhat reasonable price that will be the clear choice for most consumers and leave the Cyber Truck for posers and snobs? I believe so.

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                           Send in the hoards of Tesla fan boys and bros!

I always thought if Tesla could pull off the Model3 they would survive, I’m not sure anymore. Model3, Y, S, X, the roadster, the Semi truck, a quad for some reason and now the Cyber Truck: all this without mentioning Space X and Giga Factory and the Boring Company and all the other pies Musk has his fingers in.

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I think this week we really got a glimpse behind the current and some of us who are fans of Musk and Tesla didn’t like what we saw. I’ll return you to Mr. Orloves’ article for some of the answers as to why Tesla just might not make it. The rest of us who work in this business and know how the whole apparatus works have been skeptical from the get go and this week actually added to that skepticism.

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