The launch of the Tesla Cybertruck has long been an unfunny joke

In 2019, Tesla introduced two new cars. In March, the company introduced the Model Y, a slightly taller version of the Model 3 with a rear hatch instead of a trunk. She was perceived as smart but boring automobile. This is exactly what mature car companies do: they repeat successful models year after year, decade after decade. Now Model Y is one of best selling cars in the world, a true bestseller and undoubtedly the best and most profitable product Elon Musk has ever helped create. Musk tweeted about the Model Y just seven times. And then the Cybertruck appeared.

Six months later, Tesla unveiled the Cybertruck, which is expected to be delivered at the end of the month to very patient customers who paid a deposit on the car before the pandemic hit. The Cybertruck is already a laughingstock, helped by the constant stream of disturbing videos and images circulating in the lead-up to its release.

Deliveries were due to begin in 2021. This should have been Off-road champion and speed demon, modular but “literally bulletproof,” with a base price of about $40,000. During the presentation crashed unbreakable glass. In recent weeks, the Cybertruck has received a lot of ridicule online for being can’t overcome a small dirt hill, has stupid logoridiculous looks from behind and has such gaps in panelsthat a car of much more modest size could drive through them. It can’t be sold in Europe – a huge market for Tesla – because it’s too big and doesn’t have any crash-saving crush zones. Tesla also statedwhich reserves the right to sue owners who resell their Cybertrucks within a year, after which quietly excluded This section is from its terms and conditions. And this is only the most interesting information that has become public while the prototypes are in the hands of Musk’s most ardent fans. Elon Musk tweeted about Cybertruck 27 times.

All this has led some people to wonder why the Cybertruck is even needed. The short answer is that the Cybertruck exists because it is Elon Musk’s perfect car, the complete embodiment of everything it is – a thing that tries to do a bunch of different things at once and fails at any of them, but seems revolutionary and interesting when you look at it at her very quickly, just for a moment.

To fully explain this phenomenon, it is necessary to remember Elon Musk before the pandemic. This was before he became a far-right troll, hanging out with white nationalists and Nazis on Twitter and told themthat they have good arguments. This was before he took over Twitter, very publicly turned it into a burning dump, and changed its name to a letter he liked. This was before he supported Kanye West in the presidential election and predicted that by the end of April 2020 the number of new Covid cases will be “close to zero”. In 2019, it was still impossible to say with confidence that Elon Musk was not the generational genius that many considered him to be.

In 2019, I worked for an automotive website that covered the auto industry. Musk has been both a constant source of debate and a source of exhausting thought. We were sick of it, but at the same time we couldn’t get enough of it. Musk’s outsized influence on the dull and quiet auto industry was a piece of chaos in a closed system. Musk, for all his shortcomings, did something we didn’t expect. He created news and gave us a reason to write about him. Musk used this to his advantage, getting free publicity for his car company by constantly talking about news that would get him the attention of the press. It now seems quite clear to me that at some point the part of his brain that understood this game atrophied and died, leaving the part of the brain that comes up with crazy statements to have sole control of his thoughts. However, there was little debate on the automotive site that Musk, at the most basic level, was a smart guy. It was meant to be – look at Tesla.

Now there is a saying that I I attribute to former Twitter engineer Rod Hilton that anyone would think Musk is a genius until they hear him talk about a subject the person understands. As Hilton said: “He was talking about electric cars. I don’t know anything about cars, so when people said he was a genius, I thought he must be a genius. Then he talked about rockets. I don’t know anything about rockets.” , so when people said he was a genius, I figured he must be a genius. Now he’s talking about software. It just so happens that I know a lot about software, and Elon Musk is saying the dumbest shit I ever ever heard from anyone, so when people say he’s a genius, I think I should stay away from his cars and rockets.”

I had a similar career. Before working on a car website, I worked in public transport. Musk, as you know, hates public transport and created an entire company to build tunnels for his cars specifically to make public transport obsolete. Some of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard anyone say about public transportation came from Elon Musk. These were things that don’t even cause controversy or doubt, and just sound ignorant. These are the kinds of things a five-year-old child might say while playing with toy cars. Hundreds of tunnels under the city will eliminate traffic jams forever, he argued. It was then, around 2016, when Musk created The Boring Company, that I realized that Musk had two undeniable abilities: attracting attention and playing the role of a smart person.

Musk is an entertainer. He’s an actor playing a smart man, and like all good actors, he can give a satisfaction to your fans. When the Cybertruck was released, all of our posts about it on the car site generated a ton of traffic because people were entertained by it. Friends and family who know nothing about cars have written to me asking about the Cybertruck. It was a truly shocking car, the complete opposite of the Model Y in every way, and therefore completely in Musk’s style. Even the breaking of a window was acted out to laughter and applause. In 2019, Cybertruck became best concept car of the year according to Motortrend, because auto journalists also got their share of entertainment.

For those who consider a car to be nothing more than a necessary household appliance, like a washing machine or refrigerator, which the Cybertruck ironically resembles, the concept car won’t seem like anything new. This is a prototype, usually not even functional, that is exhibited at car shows for marketing purposes. It’s a way for traditional car companies, along with sponsoring race teams, to signal that they’re thinking about big, exciting, radical new ideas by releasing a ’48 Honda Accord or something similar. Most of these companies are smart enough not to turn concept cars into actual cars, since concept cars, almost by definition, are wildly impractical vehicles that are virtually impossible to reliably produce on a mass scale and that no one in their right mind would want to buy.

I have no idea if the Cybertruck will sell. Another notorious artist, P.T. Barnum is often credited with the saying “there’s a sucker born every minute.” This maxim leaves plenty of opportunity for an unscrupulous self-promoter like Musk to make money. But I know why the Cybertruck exists. It was three years late, barely seen in public, lacked many of the technical features it promised, and had exactly zero dollars spent promoting it. But we still talk about him and the man who introduced him. And this, in the end, is what he wants.

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