Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk revived the practice of reporting reservation counts, telling his Twitter followers that orders for the carmaker’s Cybertruck climbed to 200,000 despite a rocky reveal.
The tally Musk tweeted Sunday restores another source of intrigue for investors, analysts, journalists, fans and skeptics of the company, as the figures are inherently used as a proxy for demand. Musk’s tweets broke with recent practice at Tesla, which had stopped giving reservation figures on quarterly earnings calls, saying the metric wasn’t relevant.
When asked about the Model Y during Tesla’s first-quarter earnings call in April, Musk responded: “We don’t want to comment on the granularity of deposits -- again, people just read too much into those.”
Tesla shares traded up 2.2% as of 9:45 a.m. in New York on Monday. The stock slumped 6.1% on Friday after the company’s chief designer shattered two windows during a demo intended to show off the strength of the truck’s panes of glass.
Tesla has a history of unveiling future products to throngs of excited customers, then taking deposits and delivering the vehicles years later. Two years ago, Tesla showed off a Semi truck and a next-generation Roadster sports car, but neither vehicle is in production yet. This spring, Musk unveiled the Model Y crossover, which is slated to begin production next summer.
Tesla’s website allows customers to order the truck for a fully refundable $100, and says they can complete their configuration as production approaches in late 2021. Musk said in a tweet Saturday that 42% had ordered the dual-motor option, which starts at $49,900, while 41% have ordered the $69,900 triple-motor option, production of which is expected to begin in late 2022. Just 17% ordered the single-motor version, which begins at $39,900.
Musk tweeted Sunday that when von Holzhausen smacked the truck with the sledgehammer, it cracked the base of the glass. The CEO said Tesla should have thrown the steel ball at the window, then done the sledgehammer test. He wrote separately that while Cybertruck would be Tesla’s last product unveil for a while, the company will make some unexpected technology announcements next year.