Elon Musk is a brilliant, yet eccentric gentleman. He also has had extraordinary success against the well-established mainstay automotive manufacturers since launching Tesla. Along the way, he has established a reputation for getting what he wants. Recently he went after the pickup truck market. He told the established manufacturers and the world ahead of time that he was going to come at them with a Blade Runner like, electric pickup truck. He did just that when he introduced the Cybertruck for Tesla. Now he dropped a stunner by saying he is going to go after the small truck market as well.
When Tesla launched the Cybertruck, people were polarized. They either loved it or hated it. There was no in-between. Those that loved the in your face, “I am different” look started snapping up orders right away. But, it is a long way from concept to reality. People started asking if the actual Cybertruck would make it to production with any changes to the concept’s form. He thought about it for a while and considered making it small enough to fit in a standard-sized garage.
Jay Leno drives the Cybertruck
On Saturday, a clip of Elon Musk and Jay Leno riding in the Cybertruck together surfaced as part of a teaser to an episode of Jay’s show Jay Leno’s Garage. Jay asks Elon the same question about possible changes. Elon responds by re-affirming that shrinking the pickup might be necessary. Specifically, he mentioned that shrinking the Cybertruck by as much as 5 percent would be necessary to fit in a garage.
Here is the video with Jay and Musk in the Cybertruck.
The recording with Jay must have been a while back because when it surfaced, people started tagging Elon on Twitter. Apparently, Musk had been already actively working the shrinkage problem to the extent that he made a final decision on what he is going to do. He is not going to shrink the Cybertruck. Instead, he will make a second, smaller truck. So, he responded on Twitter. See the tweet below.
Elon Musk’s double play
Musk just made a double play. He just made everybody that placed a pre-order for the Cybertruck happy. They will not have to expect significant changes from the vehicle they fell in love with at the pickup’s reveal. Also, he just announced to the world another market segment that Tesla will be getting into, the small pickup. People love Musk and Tesla. So, it would not be surprising to see Tesla stock soar tomorrow when the markets re-open on this news.
The small truck market is about to get heated in the next year or two. Hyundai is introducing the unibody Santa Cruz, Ford will introduce a new unibody pickup to slot in under the Ranger, and Ram is playing around with an idea for a small pickup overseas that might come to the United States. If Musk sets out to make a competitor that is priced equivalently, he could create another set of fans to add to Tesla’s base.
Was it brilliance to refuse to shrink the Cybertruck and announce a smaller second truck to the lineup? Only time will tell. But, there seems to be a lot of manufacturers trying to wade into the pool at the same time. So, if Elon wants to climb into that pool as well, he will need to make sure that Tesla’s mini Cybertruck is much better than the others.