Tesla Inc.’s highly anticipated Cybertruck, with its futuristic appearance that seems more suited for outer space than Earth, has experienced several setbacks since its 2019 prototype unveiling. However, it appears that Chief Executive Elon Musk is treading cautiously about the vehicle’s production.
During a recent conference call with analysts and investors, Musk emphasized the challenges involved in achieving volume production and making the Cybertruck cash-flow positive. These remarks, coupled with Tesla’s third-quarter earnings falling short of expectations, led to a dip in the company’s stock.
Musk’s mixed messaging further complicated matters. Despite tweeting that the first Cybertruck deliveries were scheduled for November 30, he expressed a more restrained outlook during the call. He refrained from specifying the number of Cybertrucks Tesla could produce in the initial ramp this year and stated that volume production would not occur until 2025.
When asked about Tesla’s delivery capacity for 2024, Musk acknowledged the uncertainty surrounding such uncharted territory. His best estimate was a production rate of approximately a quarter-million Cybertrucks per year, likely to be achieved by 2025.
Tesla’s shareholder presentation highlighted the gigafactory in Texas, boasting a capacity of over 125,000 units. However, considering Musk’s cautious approach to volume production, reaching this target in 2021 seems unlikely, leaving questions about 2024 unanswered.
Elon Musk Reflects on Challenges of the Cybertruck
Elon Musk, the visionary CEO of Tesla, recently spoke about the challenges and opportunities associated with the highly anticipated Cybertruck. Musk acknowledged that every new product, especially one as groundbreaking as the Cybertruck, is bound to face its fair share of problems. He expressed his belief that the number of new technologies being introduced at scale is directly proportional to the difficulties encountered during production.
In an intriguing metaphorical statement, Musk stated that “Cybertruck is one of those really special products that comes along only once in a long while.” This remark encapsulates the uniqueness and innovativeness of Tesla’s latest creation.
Apart from the technical challenges, Musk also shared his concerns about the impact that higher interest rates could have on potential buyers. Many consumers rely on payment plans that accrue interest to finance their cars, and Musk worried about how this would affect the affordability of the Cybertruck.
When asked about the current timeline for Tesla’s ambitious robotaxi project, Musk was deliberately vague and did not provide a specific answer. It is worth noting that back in 2019, Musk boldly claimed that there would be 1 million Tesla robotaxis on the road by the following year.
Despite the uncertainty surrounding robotaxis, Musk did reveal that the demand for the Cybertruck has been “off the charts.” As evidence of this, he mentioned that 1 million people have already made reservations for the futuristic electric vehicle. In fact, sightings of Cybertrucks in the wild have become more frequent in the San Francisco Bay Area, further validating its popularity.
It’s important to mention that Musk currently faces a lawsuit filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission due to his failure to testify regarding his ownership of Twitter stock. This incident might explain Musk’s recent cautiousness and his willingness to listen to advice from Tesla’s legal counsel.
Elon Musk’s unpredictable nature has always kept investors on their toes. While his bold statements should be approached with caution, it is undeniable that the Cybertruck represents a significant milestone in automotive innovation. As the Cybertruck continues to captivate the public’s imagination, it will be fascinating to see how Tesla tackles the challenges and brings this extraordinary vehicle to the masses.