November 26, 2019
There’s an old saying that people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. But Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, found that out the hard way: At the debut of his much-vaunted electric Cybertruck on November 21, he asked the company’s Chief of Design Franz von Holzhausen to hurl a metal ball at one of the pickup truck’s armored glass windows—supposedly strong enough to withstand bullets.
The window cracked. Then von Holzhausen lobbed a ball at another side window—hoping for better results—and it shattered, too.
“Oh my f****** god,” Musk said after the windows smashed. “Well, maybe that was a little too hard.”
According to a report by Yahoo Finance, the Tesla boss later blamed the order in which the demo took place for the mishap. Before tossing the metal balls, von Halzhauzen used a sledgehammer on the side doors of the truck—and didn’t leave a dent.
“Sledgehammer impact on door cracked base of glass, which is why steel ball didn’t bounce off,” Musk tweeted. “Should have done steel ball on window, *then* sledgehammer the door. Next time.”
Musk also explained the reason for the unusual angular design of the Cybertruck— claiming that current auto manufacturing technology is not capable of bending the ultra-hard material. The vehicle looks like a big metallic trapezoid and has a starting price of $39,900.
“New manufacturing methods are certainly needed, but then I’m confident it will actually cost less, because of its simplicity and lower part count,” he tweeted.
During the truck’s unveiling, Musk said: “Trucks have been the same for like 100 years. We need something different.”
However, that might be optimistic: According to a story on CNBC, A prospective Cybertruck owner must pay Tesla a refundable, $100 “preorder fee.” In his boastful tweet on Saturday, Musk conflated orders with preorders, which are distinct from a final commitments to purchase the Cybertruck.
No matter the take rate, preorders for the Cybertruck, CNBC notes, are one indication that Tesla’s marketing game remains strong as ever.
“We threw wrenches, we threw everything even literally the kitchen sink at the glass and it didn’t break. For some weird reason, it broke now,” a humorous Musk said at the event. “I don’t know why. We will fix it in post.”
The stunt helped make the Cybertruck the subject of memes and media coverage around the world.
Research contact: @YahooFinance