Tesla fans and naysayers are arguing on the internet about the Tesla Cybertruck’s build quality, and it doesn’t really matter. At least, not at this point.
In its early days, and to this day to a lesser degree, Tesla has had a reputation for bad build quality.
Its vehicles, especially in the early production days of a new model, would have unequal panel gaps or flimsy interior fittings.
It has undoubtedly improved over the years as Tesla ramped up production, but it is still sort of a running joke in the industry, which is probably leading to the current situation with the Cybertruck.
The Cybertruck is only in pilot production right now, and the internet is already judging its build quality.
A thread on the “Real Tesla” subreddit garnered over 240 comments – mostly trashing the Cybertruck’s finish:
To be fair, some of those gaps look pretty bad. On the other hand, we don’t even know how old this prototype is. It doesn’t have a “release candidate” decal. It could be the very first prototype as far as we know, and that one was a disaster in terms of finish, but it was only a proof of concept.
On the other side of the spectrum, you have Teslarati, a Tesla fan site, calling the Cybertruck’s build quality “impeccable” based on some frames from a drone video flying over the prototype:
That’s just as ridiculous, if not more. You can’t judge the build quality of a vehicle from the sky. The latest prototypes do look more polished than some units seen in the wild recently, but calling the “build quality “impeccable” based on drone shots is madness.
Earlier this year, CEO Elon Musk told the Cybertruck team that there needs to be a higher focus quality with the electric pickup because its sharp design and stainless steel finish make flaws more visible.
Historically, Tesla has made great improvements in build quality with all the latest models.
Model 3 build quality was atrocious at first, and it took a long time for Tesla to fix it.
Model Y also had issues early in the production, but Tesla was able to get a handle on the problem a lot quicker than with Model 3.
If you get an early unit from a new Tesla vehicle program, you still can expect a higher chance of having issues. It’s just common sense that if you don’t want to deal with that, you should wait a bit.
Cybertruck is a wild card. You would expect the improvements that Tesla has made in recent years to transfer to the new program, but it’s not necessarily the case because of the nature of the electric pickup truck.
Tesla made it clear that the Cybertruck is going to be difficult to manufacture as the company has to invent new production techniques for it – as in things that have not been used to build pickup trucks in the past. As Musk put it last week, Tesla has no one to copy.
There’s a chance Tesla completely nails it, and the Cybertruck comes out consistently flawless early in the program, but I think the safe bet is a slow ramp-up with a lot of issues at first.
In the meantime, it’s better not to get distracted by armchair-build quality experts. We can start judging the build quality when Tesla starts producing Cybertrucks meant for customers.
FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.