Musk, who's been in court fighting off a defamation lawsuit, still found time to tout the soaring figures, tweeting recently that Cybertruck hit a stunning 250,000 preorders.
Let’s not forget that preorders for Cybertruck cost a mere $100, a tiny price for Musk fans who now get to tell friends they’ve “purchased” his knockoff of a “Warthog” from the Halo video-game series. The preorders are comically non-committal too: Customers can get no-questions-asked refunds on their reservations basically through 2022 (or whenever Tesla actually begins producing the trucks).
From this early round of Cybertruck deposits alone, Tesla has already generated $25 million in capital, for nothing more at this point than selling the vehicle’s cachet at a flawed event. This is roughly double what the company was able to raise in its Series B investment round over a decade ago. It’s also one of Musk’s less fantastical cash grabs: When he unveiled a branded $500 flamethrower last year, eager customers handed him $10 million in the first four days of sales.
The problem, of course, is that Musk has to deliver on his promises eventually, lest he angers the very fanboys who are partly underwriting his business. Reservations for the Model 3, which rocketed to 400,000 back in 2016, were once a sign of Tesla’s unstoppable growth. But they led to all types of brand woes after customers realized it took months to get refunds, even after they’d waited years for their sedans.
Tesla has historically been careful about what numbers it discloses. So while six-figure preorders for Cybertruck and Model 3 have tantalized the public, we’re left guessing whether customers are flocking so much to equally-hyped products, such as the SUV Model Y, Semi Truck, and new Roadster.
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