Elon Musk Wants to Temper Cybertruck Expectations, Delivery Event Confirmed

November 21 will mark four years since Tesla initially revealed the Cybertruck as a concept, and customers are still waiting. A first production unit rolled off the line in Austin, Texas, but that was merely an effort to appease people including shareholders.

During a conference call to discuss the company’s Q3 results yesterday, CEO Elon Musk said he wanted to "temper expectations" for the polarizing electric pickup’s launch. He also announced the first U.S. deliveries are planned for November 30.

"We dug our own grave with the Cybertruck," Musk said, referring to the enormous challenges of building such a unique and advanced vehicle. “It's one of those special products that comes along only once in a long while. And special products that come along once in a long while are just incredibly difficult to bring to market to reach volume, to be prosperous."

Photo: AFP

Back in August, CNBC reported that Musk told employees in an email that the Cybertruck should be as precisely designed as a Lego brick. What does that mean? Apparently, its measurements cannot vary by more than 10 microns (equivalent to one hundredth of a millimetre), even if the naked eye can’t possibly see the difference.

According to Musk, the Cybertruck will take at least 18 months to become cash flow positive. Mass production, which was previously said to start in 2024, could be delayed. As for Tesla’s goal to make 250,000 Cybertrucks a year by 2025, it looks fairly unattainable at this point.

Musk reiterated during the conference call that Tesla has over one million reservations for the electric pickup. Obviously, the actual number of orders will be much lower. We haven’t even seen the final specs and pricing details yet. And the market has changed in the past four years, with competitors like the Ford F-150 Lightning, Rivian R1T and GMC Hummer EV having already hit the road and the Chevrolet Silverado EV set to join them soon.

Overall, Tesla’s results for the third quarter ($23.35 billion in revenue) missed analyst estimates, as the automaker was hit by higher production costs and the fallout from price discounts. Its full-year volume target of 1.8 million vehicles remains unchanged, though.

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