The arrival of Tesla Inc.'s latest attempt at automotive disruption — a high-performance cargo hauler called the Cybertruck — left Wall Street analysts befuddled and its would-be pickup competitors snickering.
CEO Elon Musk had trumpeted the electric pickup for years, promising futuristic Blade Runner-inspired looks and specs that top offerings from the Detroit 3. The final product he revealed last week had stainless-steel body panels, sharp edges and windows — touted as unbreakable — that shattered twice during a seemingly improvised on-stage durability demonstration.
A pickup that is a serious challenger to establishment automakers would be a boon for Tesla, given the segment's popularity and lucrative margins. It also would help Tesla stave off competition in a soon-to-be crowded field as General Motors, Ford Motor Co. and several startups, including Ford partner Rivian, aim to launch electric pickups in 2021.
But after the bizarre reveal, analysts were divided on whether the Cybertruck could be such a challenger or if it's more vaporware from a company with a history of flashy announcements tailor-made to boost its stock.