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Tesla Cybertruck's engineering and design might be genius -- here's why

Roadshow logo Roadshow 1/17/2020 Sean Szymkowski
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Trust me, you are not the only person still looking over the Tesla Cybertruck and wondering how or why it looks the way it does. Well, there's a good reason behind it, if Sandy Munro's analysis holds true.

Munro is the man when it comes to lean engineering and manufacturing and holds an extensive background in finding a way to cut costs when it comes to building just about anything. He's spoken about Tesla often in the past, and he showed up on Autoline After Hours this Thursday to give the lowdown on the Cybertruck.

Granted, Munro hasn't seen the truck in person and isn't familiar with Tesla's marketing plans or anything like that. However, from the outside looking in, he can spot the strategy Tesla seems keen on with its electric pickup truck.

Tesla Cybertruck is like nothing else

This is the Tesla Cybertruck.

This is the Tesla Cybertruck.
© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc.

To give us a nice contrast, Munro looked at the Cybertruck at 50,000 units per year, and compared that to a traditional pickup truck like the F-150 , also at 50,000 units per year. Tesla's secret sauce is the fact it appears the truck's exoskeleton also act as its body panels. So, all the rigidity and strength the pickup needs comes from everything you're looking at, and it just needs welding and assembly. The fact there's no painting involved, just plain stainless steel, is also a tremendous cost-saver, per Munro.

a car parked in a parking lot © Tesla

Compared to a pickup that requires painting and other doo-dads, Tesla's manufacturing capital expenditure is, presumably, a lot cheaper. As in, Munroe thinks the capital expenditure would be about $30 million... to build a pickup truck. That's a downright incredible figure. An F-150 at 50,000 units per year is more like $210 million.

Of course, no other automaker would ever tool up for pickup truck sales of 50,000 units, so economy of scale is a factor when we're talking about the more than 700,000 F-150s sold last year. But for a company like Tesla, this kind of scenario makes a whole lot of sense.

It's certainly worth listening to all of Munro's insights -- he even talks about the infamous window smashing -- so press play in the video at the top of the page.

This was originally published on Roadshow.


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