Tesla’s Cybertruck Launch Stumbles as the Armored Glass Windows Shatter During Presentation – is This a Bad Omen?
Tesla’s (NASDAQ:TSLA) launch of its much-anticipated pickup truck suffered a literal blow yesterday as the futuristic-looking vehicle’s ‘armored glass’ windows shattered during a demo.
Tesla introduced the newest addition to its product lineup on Thursday during a dedicated event where the so-called Cybertruck was unveiled to much fanfare. During the presentation, Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk touted the vehicle’s ultramodern design, power and durability relative to the conventional offerings of other automakers.
Musk frequently compared Cybertruck’s specs with that of the Ford’s (NYSE:F) F-150. In order to highlight its capabilities, Musk showed an edited video of a tug-of-war between the Cybertruck and the F-150 which was handedly won by Tesla’s newest offering. This is a major feat given that gasoline F-150s can tow between 5,000 and 8,000 pounds.
In order to demonstrate the vehicle’s durability, Musk asked Cybertruck’s design head Franz von Holzhausen to take a sledgehammer to the side of the vehicle. As the vehicle remained unscathed, Musk flaunted the Cybertruck’s exterior which, interestingly, is built from the same stainless steel that is used in the SpaceX’s Starship rocket.
However, the presentation took a turn for the worse when Cybertruck’s windows – built from a supposed armored glass – shattered as von Holzhausen threw metal balls at them.
“Oh my ..., well, maybe that was a little too hard,” Musk said as he inspected the cracked driver’s side window. He, nonetheless, allowed von Holzhausen to lob a throw at the rear passenger window which, to the embarrassment of the presenters, cracked as well.
The gaffe overshadowed an otherwise impressive presentation and, as it was live-streamed, spurred a #cybertruck trend on Twitter.
As a recap, the Cybertruck’s pricing starts at $39,900 for the basic version while the other versions are priced at $49,900 and $69,900. The high-end offering also boasts an impressive range that exceeds 500 miles. Moreover, the truck can accelerate from 0 to 60 in 2.9 seconds and is expected to enter production sometime in late 2021.
We ran a piece yesterday that highlighted the reasons this launch is crucial for Tesla’s bottom line (you can read the article here). To summarize, trucks dominate vehicle sale charts in the U.S. and constitute the fastest growing segment in the industry. It is entirely logical, therefore, that Tesla – with a trailing twelve-month income of -$828 million – tries to take advantage of this lucrative scenario in order to pump additional revenue.
According to the Industry tracking firm HIS Markit, the electric truck segment is expected to sell about 75,000 vehicles in 2026, compared with 3 million light trucks overall. Tesla’s offering though is not part of this estimate.
Update: As of 15:00 ET, Tesla's stock price has plunged by 6.31 percent to $332.43.