Vehicles | August 3, 2020 12:26 pm

Elon Musk Is Happy to Build a “Normal Truck” If Tesla Cybertruck Sales Flop

In a new interview, the CEO outlined the "fallback strategy"

Tesla Cybertruck sitting in the desert
Do you like the Tesla Cybertruck design? Or would you prefer something more "normal"?
Tesla

If you’re in the market for a pickup truck shaped like Lara Croft’s bosom, you can click over to Tesla’s website right now and reserve a Cybertruck for the low, low price of $100. That affordable reservation cost has meant that despite the polarizing design, around 650,000 people are currently in line to buy Elon Musk’s futuristic electric truck.

However, refundable reservations don’t equal sales, and in a new interview with Automotive News, the Tesla CEO admitted that if sales don’t materialize when the truck officially hits the market sometime in late 2021, if the company stays on schedule, then he’ll be happy to build a regular milquetoast truck. 

“It can be a better sports car than a Porsche 911, a better truck than an F-150, and it’s armored and looks sort of kick-ass from the future. That was the goal, recognizing this could be a complete failure,” Musk told the publication. 

“But I wasn’t super worried about that because if it turns out nobody wants to buy a weird-looking truck, we’ll build a normal truck, no problem,” the 49-year-old added. “There’s lots of normal trucks out there that look pretty much the same; you can hardly tell the difference. And sure, we could just do some copycat truck; that’s easy. So that’s our fallback strategy.”

That strategy of providing electrification in a recognizable package is being employed by a number of other fledgling automakers hoping to beat out big names like Ford and General Motors in the electric truck race. Companies like Rivian, Nikola and Lordstown (which announced today it would merge with another firm in order to capitalize on Wall Street investment) are all working on EV trucks that wouldn’t stand out in a Ford dealership, except for maybe a few alien-esque lighting details.

That said, Musk is confident the Cybertruck design is just as American as a Ford F-150 and will be accepted by U.S. buyers as such.

“We’re really, fundamentally making this truck as a North American ass-kicker, basically,” he said. “The goal is to kick the most amount of ass possible with this truck.”

If nothing else, he’s got the sales pitch down pat. 

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