Broken windows aside, the Cybertruck’s distinct design has inspired far-ranging, creative barbs. Tesla, the company that made electric cars cool and sleek, may have misfired on its pickup.
Bottom line, those sharp contours on the Cybertruck are making people cringe.
There are plenty of questions about whether pickup truck buyers will have any interest in the latest Tesla.
James Cobb, a retired University of Georgia history professor who has studied southern culture and grew up hauling cotton in a pickup truck, said it’ll take time to potentially win over truck owners.
“There’s a certain level of boldness and self-confidence required to really be that person,” Cobb said. “When you go for one of these, you’re making a statement that you’re either moving on from that culture or trying to one up it.”
Cobb has watched pickups evolve from practical, utilitarian vehicles, to a way for owners to make a statement about themselves. As people moved from rural to suburban settings, he said embracing pickups was a way to chafe at suburban conformity, and feel an affinity for one’s country roots.
Musk started talking publicly about a pickup truck in 2013. Tesla hasn’t said when deliveries will start, but that production will near in late 2021. Prices start at $39,900 and can exceed $70,000, with certain options such as a larger battery and Autopilot.
Berk Talay, a marketing professor at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, believes it’s too early to tell how consumers will ultimately react to the truck.
“We might expect, just as with any radical innovation in the tech industry, to see some super fans and super skeptics,” Talay said.
So far, the skeptics are speaking loudest.