Among the glitterati and auto scribes present at the Tesla pickup truck unveiling it was like the Apollo spacecraft landing on the moon. Or Mars, since that’s what Tesla says its pickup is for. Mars. Anyway, it’s different with a purpose. We’ll get into that in a bit.
So what do you think? We think that the concept and features that the Tesla truck displays are game-changers. Truck development in Detroit has been a slow evolution. It’s been a subtle layer upon layer for 80 years, give or take a few.
The Tesla pickup just expanded trucks by 1,000
What Elon Musk is presenting expands that times 1,000. Tesla has proven its ability to analyze what pickups are and have been for the last 100 years and then it reboots the timeline. It looked at all of the hype and drilled down to figure out how to best all of those marketing claims and handy features.
When Musk demonstrated how the Tesla truck beat the marketing hype of the last 50 years, it made Ford, Chevy, and Ram look a bit dated. Each of those manufacturers could have bested the other’s pronouncements and bleating in decades past. But, with the demonstration from Tesla tonight it made Detroit seem as if it has been in a malaise. Go along to get along, so to speak.
So here is Tesla, this upstart company that radically redefines what pickup trucks should be. Its new truck can withstand side impacts that regular trucks can’t. It uses glass that is almost bulletproof-though there was a bit of a malfunction in the presentation. It features the ability to load an ATV without the comedy we see on YouTube. It lays bare the hype of the last 40 years is just sly marketing.
Tesla was challenged to radicalize pickup trucks
There are those who will never find the Tesla truck appealing. But for Tesla, this was a challenge to see what it could do to radicalize the idea of what a pickup should be. It goes with the times.
We are at a juncture in the evolution of the automobile that is rapidly conforming to what the world presents. Fossil fuels, carbon footprints, climate change-it’s all coming together now. The auto manufacturers in Detroit are scrambling to produce relevant vehicles for these times.
Rather, they are seeing it pass them by and are scrambling to stay relevant. Upstarts like Tesla and Rivian would never have made it 20 years ago. But a number of things have changed to make them relevant compared to corporations worth billions of dollars.
First, developing electric vehicles takes less of everything than developing a vehicle powered by gasoline engines. So, companies can sprint to market quicker than in the past. Startups are more agile because they are not Ford or GM. These are mammoth companies with decades of layers of malaise.
Tesla needs something that makes them stand out
Also, these new startups need to have something that makes them different-something that ingrained corporate intransigence won’t allow. So they are free to take a risk and see how the public responds. If tomorrow the common opinion is that the Tesla pickup is a mistake, Tesla has the ability to make adjustments before production. But, that isn’t going to happen
The Tesla pickup is just different enough to allow those who want to let their “freak flag fly” as was the common saying in hippie times. It’s enough of a shift that many will be attracted to it.
Will the Tesla pickup evolve before production, or is this it? How will current pickup manufacturers respond? In some ways, they are already responding. Today GMC announced it will produce an electric pickup by 2021. It has been mum before today.
Tesla pickup makes trucks better for consumers
The thing is, this is all good for us, the consumer. We don’t have to like Tesla, but we have conventional options we can choose. For those looking for a radical statement, an economical alternative to a Silverado, or just to experience something different, the Tesla may be the solution.
If you’re in the market for a pickup in the next few years your options just increased. If you’re a fan of what’s happening in the auto industry, get your popcorn ready. We are all in for a game-shifting time.
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