Tesla Founder and CEO Elon Musk is at it again, stirring up the Twittersphere with promises of an electric pickup truck.
Just last week, he had tongues wagging after he tweeted his phone number. Tuesday afternoon’s pièce de résistance is a response to another tweet where Musk reveals his feelings about future product plans.
“I promise that we will make a pickup truck right after Model Y,” Musk tweeted. “Have had the core design/engineering elements in my mind for almost 5 years. Am dying to build it.”
The Twitter string began innocently enough with a tweet from Musk expressing “deep gratitude to Tesla owners…for taking a chance on a new company that all experts said would fail.”
He went on to ask: “How can we improve further?” The first response was from a Twitter user “Vancouver Seed Bank” who tweeted: “Need an electric Pick up [sic] truck please.”
After Musk tweeted his above response, another user asked “Will it be F150 class or larger? I’m hoping for a regular family size truck.” Musk somewhat mysteriously responded: “Similar total size. Maybe slightly bigger to account for a really gamechanging (I think) feature I’d like to add.” He did not reveal what that feature would be, although one responder quipped that they hoped it would be a toilet.
Autotrader Senior Analyst Michelle Krebs said pickup trucks are attractive as they generate enormous revenue and profits. In addition, an electric pickup could have a major impact on the environment. However, she questioned the timing.
“The focus for Tesla in 2018 must be the currently troubled Model 3,” Krebs says. “Tesla should be focused on building a top-notch Model 3 and deliver on its promises to consumers who have ordered them and [to] investors.”
The pickup truck market is very different from markets Tesla is in now, she adds. They are often used for work so must be highly reliable, the same for semis, another market segment which Tesla recently announced it is venturing into.
Musk has a habit of “overpromising and underdelivering,” says Boris Marjanovic, managing director at quantitative hedge fund A North Investments, a New York-based investment management firm.
“Remember when he promised 500,000 cars produced in 2018,” Marjanovic wrote in a comment on a Seeking Alpha news alert regarding Musk’s statement. “No wonder Tesla is one of the worst-performing stocks during the last several months. Investors are getting sick and tired of Musk's marketing (bull).”