While some people, on Wall Street of all places, are still trying to determine if Thursday’s Cybertruck unveiling actually happened (with Morgan Stanley saying that “investors (and myself) still wondering if last night’s launch was a joke or not but invariably most agree it was a flop”), or if we were just dreaming it all, it looks as though the spontaneously combusting trainwreck that was the Cybertruck event – complete with shattered windows and bizarre trapezoid design (which according to one commentator looked like a DeLorean fucked a triangle) – actually did happen, just as we covered it late Thursday night.
Reaffirming that the event was just as embarrassing to everyone else who witnessed it, if perhaps not Elon Musk, was the slew of sellside notes published on Friday, in many cases by stunned analysts who in many cases were not sure if they were being trolled. Two notes, from Bernstein and Morgan Stanley, both plainly conclude that whatever the thing was that Musk presented last night has very little chance of being a success.
Morgan Stanley went as far as to release two hot takes on Friday. The first, titled “Cybertruck: Designed to Shock?” concluded that Tesla has to “make adjustments” if it wants to capture a “larger slice” of the $100 billion US pickup truck total addressable market. Talk about your all-time understatements…
They called the reveal “Avant-Garde” and tried to do their best to put lipstick on Elon’s Cyber-pig. “While some investors may see the design as more fitting for a work site in a Martian colony, true art and design lovers may appreciate that Tesla has tried to bring something totally different to the market here on Earth,” the note says.
On the financial side of things, MS acknowledges that the truck could be “quite polarizing” and “too niche” for its market.
The note says that Morgan Stanley “would not be surprised to see TSLA showcase a less controversial design over the next few years.” In other words, they think everything from last night needs to be scrapped, and we don’t blame them.
Morgan Stanley then issued a note later in the day on Friday after conducting a “snap poll” of its email distribution list to try and determine what people thought of the Cybertruck. The results of the poll were that 0% of people surveyed thought the truck would be a success in its current form. That’s a bit more than just “too niche”, wouldn’t you say?
Finally, as sellsiders are known to do, Bernstein kept its price target and market perform on the stock, but said that the truck “looks weird… like, really weird.” While complimenting the truck’s specs on paper, Bernstein also said the truck is “likely to be a niche offering – with sales of perhaps 50K units a year or less.”
They compared it to the Hummer, which sold 30-80K units annually during its lifetime.
They conclude with the same key question as Morgan Stanley: “whether Cybertruck’s design could be tweaked into a more mainstream offering over time.”