Shortly after confirming plans for a Texas factory to build the Tesla Cybertruck, CEO Elon Musk defended the electric pickup truck's unusual design, and hinted that a smaller version may be on the way.

In an interview with Automotive News last week, Musk said the Cybertruck, wasn't designed with any input from truck buyers. Tesla simply set out to make a different-looking vehicle, Musk said, promising that the Cybertruck will outperform more traditional pickups.

"We're really, fundamentally making this truck as a North American ass-kicker, basically," Musk said. "The goal is to kick the most amount of ass possible with this truck."

Tesla Cybertruck

Tesla Cybertruck

However, Musk also mentioned that Tesla could produce a more conventional looking truck as a "fallback" move, if the current design proves unpopular. 

The Cybertruck generated plenty of buzz when it was unveiled in concept form in November 2019, but that initial interest may be fading. 

Musk said that there are "over 200,000" reservations for the Cybertruck—not far from what the company said late last year and perhaps indicative that a significant portion have asked for their $100 deposits back. But 200,000 is still noteworthy for what many would call a niche vehicle.

The Cybertruck concept's styling even spawned renderings of the Nikola Badger, which were originally used to troll Musk with an alternative "normal" pickup design. The Badger is now planned for production with battery power and a hydrogen fuel-cell range extender.

Tesla Cybertruck prototype - Nov. 2019

Tesla Cybertruck prototype - Nov. 2019

Despite mulling a complete redesign of the Cybertruck, Musk also continues to hint at a smaller Tesla pickup.

When asked on Twitter if he would consider a smaller pickup for the European market, Musk said this was "highly likely down the road."

This follows up on what Musk said in May—that Tesla had decided to produce the Cybertruck in its concept size for North America, with a world truck to follow.