The Tesla Cybertruck, which will be delivered Thursday almost four years after its introduction, is simultaneously praised and criticized. It serves as a symbol of the creativity, irreverence, and rebellion of Tesla and its CEO Elon Musk, yet it is also seen as an act of hubris. The automaker’s fate hangs in the balance. Tesla has not launched a new passenger model in over three years, and its profit margins are slim due to price discounts aimed at maintaining its market share. Whether the Cybertruck becomes Tesla’s masterpiece or downfall depends on the company’s ability to handle production issues and customer feedback. Whether the vehicle is embraced by its owners is another challenge. The next significant milestone will occur at 2 p.m. CT on November 30, when Tesla is expected to deliver the first long-awaited Cybertrucks to customers. Musk and the lead designer wanted to create something revolutionary in form and manufacturing, breaking with 80 years of pickup truck design. They settled on stainless steel, hoping to use a strong enough and affordable steel in place of the traditional carbon fiber panels. However, this decision has led to production problems and delays. Building a truck with stainless steel has proven difficult, as flattening and aligning the panels has turned out to be a challenge. If the metal is dented on the road, repair is likely to be complicated, adding to Tesla’s poor reputation for service. Musk had intended for the “armor glass” to be bullet-proof, but the demonstration at the initial Cybertruck event was less than successful. Tesla is expected to deliver only 10 Cybertrucks at the event due to supply chain difficulties and will likely be primarily given to Tesla employees or a high-profile individual. Despite the large number of reservations, the modest offering of delivery events has been a consistent pattern for Tesla.

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