“To be long-term successful in the US, we’re going to have to have a pickup truck offering,” says Tesla’s Diarmuid O’Connell near the end of this video.
Well . . .
The Toyota Tundra was supposed to annihilate the D3 competition, or at the very least, give ’em a bloody fight just as the Tacoma had always done in its smaller weight class.
Surprise! Didn’t happen, despite plenty of paper advantages. Toyota brought a Telfon-coated Lexus powerplant and decades of good will in quality/reliability, plus a 4X4 portfolio dating back to the late 50s Land Cruiser, and the 60s and 70s FJ Cruiser and 4Runner.
Not good enough. But Toyota has sucked it up and forged ahead, the same way a portfolio manager would thank goodness for diversification and just keep movin.’
Tesla has torque. And fuel savings, and American blood, and juggernaut brand momentum. What if they’re not enough? What if truck guys simply cannot get Bob Seger and hay bales out of their heads? Pretty horsies run deep, you know. And there ain’t no Superchargers out in the wilderness, where trucks totally roam, like, all the time. And you can’t declare that some electric battery truck can withstand this here boulder to the belly or this here flex maneuver with a spine-cracking angle of approach and departure while also carrying the Space Shuttle in the bed and dragging an oil tanker out of the ocean. Or something.
Could Tesla just soak up a product flop and forge ahead? Many years from now, maybe. Tesla’s financials might look very different by, say, 2025. Let’s hope so, because the truck market is scary stuff.
Counterpoint: Trucks do come in many guises. The smallish model III platform might be destined not for haulin’ hogs but instead smokin’ Ferraris. GMC Syclone, anyone?