Multi-billionaire Elon Musk tried to show off his new Cybertruck in a demonstration of the high-tech futuristic vehicle last week.
It didn’t go well.
On stage in Los Angeles, Musk, the founder of Tesla, called out head designer Franz von Holzhausen. He carried two heavy metal balls. “Franz, can you try to break this glass, please,” Musk said.
“You sure?” von Holzhausen said.
“Yeah,” Musk said. So von Holzhausen lobbed the metal ball at the window, which broke badly.
“Oh my f**king God,” Musk said. “Well, maybe that was a little too hard,” he said as the audience laughed.
“Should we try the back?” von Holzhausen asked.
“OK,” Musk said.
That window broke, too.
“It didn’t go through, so that’s a plus side,” Musk said, adding: “Room for improvement.”
While Musk took it well, his bank account didn’t. “Shares of Tesla Inc fell more than six percent Friday after the ‘armored glass’ windows on its newly unveiled electric pickup truck shattered during a demonstration,” The Daily Mail reported. “The sharp drop wiped $768 million off Elon Musk’s estimated $23.6 billion fortune, Forbes reports.” The company’s shares fell to $333.41 at the close of the markets on Friday.
Analysts told The Mail Musk is trying too hard.
Karl Brauer, executive publisher at Kelley Blue Book and Autotrader, said Musk was trying to sell too much – a new technology and an outlandish design.
‘There are fans out there who’ll buy anything with a Tesla badge on it, but this will unlikely pierce the meat of the truck market,’ Brauer said. ‘Tesla is putting up too many barriers for people nervous about stepping out of their comfort zone.’ …
‘Musk has been enthusiastic about his Blade Runner-inspired design for months, but we were still surprised how futuristic he went with this one and believe it may shatter his dreams,’ Cowen analysts wrote in a note.
‘While we are pleased to see Tesla enter the most profitable segment of the North American passenger car market, we do not see this vehicle in its current form being a success.’
The Cybertruck looks like an armored vehicle, all angles of gunmetal grey. It is expected to go into production in 2021, Musk said at the Los Angeles Auto Show on Thursday.
“The electric pickup’s unconventional style features sci-fi-inspired elements that include an angular body with slab sides and a windshield that stretches from a peak above the driver’s head to a full-width headlight bar in a continuous plane, without a conventional hood. A similar flat surface slopes rearward to the top of the tailgate and incorporates a retractable cover for the bed,” Fox News reported.
The Cybertruck will be offered in three versions, starting with a $39,900 entry-level model that has rear-wheel-drive, a 250-mile per-charge range, 7,500-pound tow rating and a 0-60 mph acceleration time of 6.5 seconds. A $49,900 Dual Motor all-wheel-drive model increases the range to 300 miles, the tow rating to 10,000 pounds and reduces the 0-60 mph time to 4.5 seconds. At the top of the lineup is a $69,900 Tri Motor all-wheel-drive model with twin rear electric motors that can go 500 miles, tow 14,000 pounds, accelerate to 60 mph in 2.9 seconds and cover a quarter-mile in a supercar-quick 10.8 seconds.