Tesla Pickup Truck Demo Was Smashing, but Not a Success

Tesla truck
Tesla CEO Elon Musk introduces the Cybertruck at Tesla's design studio in Hawthorne, Calif. (Ringo H.W. Chiu/Associated Press)

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Elon Musk unveiled Tesla Inc.’s electric pickup truck Nov. 21, but it didn’t go as planned, ending with two smashed windows and the hashtag #cybertruck trending on Twitter for all the wrong reasons.

In the demo, Tesla chief designer Franz von Holzhausen initially took a sledgehammer to the truck, which withstood the impact. Then it all went wrong.

Von Holzhausen took a metallic ball in his right hand, wound up and tossed it at the truck — smashing the front driver-side window, stunning the audience and viewers live streaming the event.

Musk uttered a profanity when the window broke.

“Maybe that was a little too hard,” he said after the ball cracked the glass. So they tried again. A second test broke a second window.

The event was shown on YouTube, with the video made private shortly after. The heavy-duty truck retails from $39,900 and will come in three different variants.

“This obviously wasn’t a true production vehicle, so Tesla gets a pass for now,” said Akshay Anand, executive analyst at Kelley Blue Book. “But if they are going to market the glass as a differentiator, they better be able to show stronger tests leading up to launch.”

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