ReutersNov 23, 2019 18:15:58 IST
Tesla Inc’s launch of its futuristic Cybertruck pickup suffered a setback when its “armored glass” windows shattered, but it was the overall look of the electric vehicle that worried Wall Street on Friday, driving the automaker’s shares down 6 percent.
In the much-anticipated unveiling to cheering fans late on Thursday, Tesla boss Elon Musk had taken aim at the design, power and durability of mainstream trucks, only to be shaken when his boast about his new vehicle’s windows backfired.
“Oh my f*cking God, well, maybe that was a little too hard,” Musk said, after his head of design, Franz von Holzhausen, cracked the driver’s side window with a metal ball in a series of tests for the crowd at the event in Los Angeles.
He allowed von Holzhausen another throw to the rear passenger window, only to see that crack as well.
Musk singled out the Ford F-150, the top-selling vehicle in the United States, to highlight the capabilities of the Cybertruck, showing an edited video of the two trucks in a back-to-back “tug-of-war” in which the Tesla truck wins.
Some Wall Street analysts praised the launch on Friday, but others doubted the futuristic design’s mass appeal. Tesla shares were down 6 percent at $333.41.
Shares of Ford and General Motors rose about 2 percent. General Motors’ first electric pickup will go on sale in 2021, around the same time as Tesla’s, GM Chief Executive Mary Barra told investors on Thursday.
“Musk has been enthusiastic about his Blade Runner-inspired design for months, but we were still surprised how futuristic he went with this one and believe it may shatter his dreams,” Cowen analysts wrote in a note.
“While we are pleased to see Tesla enter the most profitable segment of the North American passenger car market, we do not see this vehicle in its current form being a success.”
The U.S. pickup truck market is one of the world’s most profitable vehicle segments and is dominated by Ford, General Motors Co and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV.
Pickup buyers are fiercely brand loyal and are viewed as traditional in their choice of vehicle.
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