Elon Musk: "I don't do focus groups."
Truck of Lemons
If you thought Tesla's Cybertruck looks weird and ungainly, you're not the only one. Apparently, some Tesla staff thought the same of the electric pickup — with its sharp angles, futuristic silhouette, and absurdly large windshield wiper — according to a new excerpt from Walter Isaacson's blockbuster just-dropped biography on Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
Some engineers at the company hated the Cybertruck so much, in fact, that they started to put together a secret alternative design for the Cybertruck in 2019, according to a section of the book highlighted by Insider.
"A majority of the people in this studio hated it," said Tesla design leader Franz von Holzhausen, as quoted in the book. "They were like, 'You can't be serious.' They didn't want to have anything to do with it. It was just too weird."
But that design apparently never gained traction, because the futuristic armored-looking demo Musk had unveiled back in November 2019 hews quite closely to the factory production model that has been recently seen in company-sanctioned photos and on the street.
"I don't do focus groups," Musk is quoted as saying in the book.
But as silly as you may think the Cybertruck's design, it's a serious venture for Musk and Tesla because they are going after the lucrative light-duty truck market dominated by the likes of Ford, whose F-series is the most popular and best-selling vehicle in the United States.
If Tesla gets it right, just as states like California mandate the sale of zero-emissions vehicles by 2035, and successfully takes a chunk of the market from Ford, which is pumping up their own electric light-duty truck in the market, then that would position Tesla to be a major automaker for years to come.
It's the kind of audacious move that's characteristic of Musk, who bought the social network Twitter last year and renamed it X.
Musk is going for all the marbles in the auto world and beyond — but of course, it remains to be seen whether it will all pan out.
More on the Cybertruck: There's an Issue With Cybertrucks: They're Ridiculously Smudgy
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