What just happened? Tesla's Cybertruck unveiling wasn't without its faults, but it did manage to garner a lot of interest from early adopters, over 200,000 of whom placed pre-orders for the electric pickup over the weekend.
It's fairly easy to imagine the hype when Elon Musk gets onstage with an electric pickup nearly as divisive as the man himself. Although Tesla's stock price dipped by 6 percent after the Cybertruck's recent unveiling, pre-orders continued to pile up over the weekend and reached an impressive 200,000 as of Sunday night.
The pickup is still a few years away, but the company's marketing and the lower price of admission have resulted in a healthy number of prospective buyers. Keeping them as such would be a challenge for Tesla, as the company's track record of actually delivering its cars on schedule has run into various issues in the past, leading many to cancel their reservations last year after running out of patience for the Model 3 to make it to their driveways.
Nevertheless, the pickup truck remains a favorite class of vehicle among US buyers, most of whom are likely behind these pre-order figures. It also helps that the $100 refundable fee needed to reserve the Cybertruck is Tesla's lowest price yet, as compared to the $1,000 deposit required for the Model 3 and the $2,500 fee for the Model Y SUV.
Reaching such a high number of pre-orders for the Cybertruck was made possible "with no advertising & no paid endorsement" boasted Musk on Twitter, but then that duty was taken over by the internet itself, which unleashed a sea of Cybertruck memes over the weekend and made sure the electric pickup remained a hot topic of most discussions, online and offline.
Cybertruck pulls F-150 uphill pic.twitter.com/OfaqUkrDI3— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 24, 2019
Highlighting the Cybertruck's utility and speed, Musk compared it to America's current favorite pickup and one of the world's best sports cars, calling it a "better truck than an F-150 [and] faster than a Porsche 911." For what it's worth, he also shared a brief clip of the Ford pickup being pulled uphill by the supposedly more powerful and heavier Cybertruck.
Although Tesla's latest product might not be to everyone's taste, the company can certainly do with the $20 million or so which it has generated through the Cybertruck's pre-orders in such a short period. The company has only managed to record five profitable quarters to date, including its latest Q3'19, and the Cybertruck could potentially provide a much needed, if temporary, financial relief.
Also, unlike the Model 3 that was touted as the cheapest Tesla but launched with its most expensive trim, the Cybertruck will be made the other way round. Its cheaper single and dual-motor versions will be produced initially in the latter part of 2021, followed by the flagship tri-motor spec that's expected to arrive no sooner than late 2022.