Tesla shares rise as Musk says Cybertruck reservations hit 200,000

Reuters

Tesla shares rose 4% on Monday after Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk tweeted over the weekend that the company had already received 200,000 pre-orders for its futuristic Cybertruck pickup.

The new truck, made of stainless steel and priced at $39,000 and above, failed to impress Wall Street last week after its "armored glass" windows shattered in a launch demonstration and analysts argued the design would not have mass appeal.

Tesla opened preorders immediately, however, and allowed potential buyers to book the truck by depositing just $100, compared to the $1,000 Tesla charged for booking Model 3 sedans in 2016, drawing the flood of reservations and sending the company's shares back up on Monday.

The Silicon Valley carmaker received 325,000 orders for the Model 3 in the first week of bookings three years ago, and the initial number for the trucks suggested preorders could rival that.

Shares of the company were up at $345.50 in premarket trading.

From touting the features of the new vehicle to taking a dig at the Ford F-150 pickup truck, Musk has been tweeting furiously to boost sales since Thursday's launch.

"Better truck than an F-150, faster than a Porsche 911," he tweeted over the weekend, posting a video of the Cybertruck dragging the F-150 uphill.

The billionaire has long been using his 30 million Twitter following as a platform to sell Tesla's vehicles but landed in trouble last year when he tweeted in he would be taking Tesla private before later withdrawing the statement.

As a result he agreed with U.S. regulators to submit his public statements about the company to vetting by its legal counsel. Tesla did not respond to Reuters inquiries as to whether the weekend's tweets had been vetted.

Not all orders translate into sales as many are likely eventually to be canceled and money refunded to depositors. Tesla plans to start manufacturing the Cybertruck around late-2021.