For Tesla, the focus has long been on range and performance. The reliability of some of its models (the Model X in particular) has been deemed subpar by the likes of Consumer Reports (and others). Even the Model 3 and Model S have had some reliability issues.
But do truck owners truly value reliability? So much so that Tesla should put that as its primary focus with the Tesla truck? It seems they do, at least according to this study from Cox Automotive:
As Seeking Alpha states of the study:
According to a study published by Cox Automotive, only 5.8% of full-size pickup truck buyers consider driving performance to be the most important factor in their purchasing decisions. Rather, reliability is king in the pickup market, with 31.3% of buyers surveyed by Cox citing it as the most important factor in their purchasing decisions.
This would imply that for the Tesla truck to be successful, it would have to beat the reliability ranking of the big players like the Ford F-150, Ram Truck and Chevy Silverado.
Musk has implied a time or two that the Tesla truck will make the Ram seem puny or even that it will beat the Ford F-150, but reliability has never been mentioned. It's often statements focused on performance or towing or other similar metrics.
Gallery: Tesla Truck Render
But does reliability really matter the most? Sure, we all want reliable vehicles, but Tesla truck sales won't initially rely on that metric. The coolness factor of the electric truck itself will sell it in mass. Reliability comes and is proven over time. So, Tesla has many more years to get that metric to the top of the class and we do believe the automaker is capable of making reliable vehicles, especially once it slows down the pace of development, growth, etc.
Given time, we're confident Tesla can deliver reliable as well as it can performance. One step at a time. The million-mile electric motor is already in place.