Tesla chief executive officer Elon Musk said the company amassed 146,000 orders for its Cybertruck less than 48 hours after the polarising vehicle was first shown amid shattered glass.
The electric-car maker has a history of unveiling future products to throngs of excited customers, taking deposits, and then delivering 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. In March, Musk unveiled the Model Y crossover; that vehicle is slated to begin production in mid-2020.
Musk’s 146,000 figure — from a Saturday tweet that’s now been viewed more than 6 million times — underscores the hard-to-resist nature of announcing deposits, even when they are fully refundable and may never be converted into actual sales. Tesla’s reservation list has long been a source of intrigue for investors, analysts, journalists, fans and skeptics of the company, as it’s often used as a proxy for demand. Musk’s tweet breaks with the recent practice at Tesla, which has stopped giving reservation figures on its quarterly earnings calls, saying the metric wasn’t relevant.
“We don’t want to comment on the granularity of deposits — again, people just read too much into those,” Musk said on Tesla’s first-quarter earnings call in April, when asked about the Model Y.