Tesla’s Cybertruck to start mass production at end of 2023

Tesla ( TSLA.O ) aims to begin mass production of its Cybertruck in late 2023, two years after Chief Executive Elon Musk initially aimed to unveil the long-awaited pickup truck in 2019, two people with knowledge of the plans told Reuters.

Tesla said last month that it is working to prepare its Austin, Texas, plant to start “initial production” in mid-2023 to build the new model. “We’re in the final lap for Cybertruck,” Musk said on a conference call with financial analysts.

A gradual ramp for full output of the sharp-angled electric truck in the second half of next year will mean Tesla won’t record revenue until early 2024 for a full-quarter of production of a new model expected to be key to its growth.

That would mean another year of waiting for the estimated tens of thousands of potential buyers who paid $100 to reserve the Cybertruck, one of the most highly anticipated and closely tracked electric vehicle launches ever.

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Tesla shares rose 0.4% on Tuesday after rising 4.3% earlier. It did not announce the final price of the Cybertruck, show the production version of the vehicle or specify how the new model’s battery supply will handle.

In 2019, Tesla projected starting prices below $40,000, but since then new car prices have risen and Tesla has raised prices across its lineup.

Another source said the Cybertruck was designed to use Tesla’s much talked about 4680 battery. But Guidehouse Insights analyst Sam Abulsamid said Tesla has not been able to significantly ramp up domestic battery production, which could cause further delays for the Cybertrucks until late 2023.

Tesla may have to significantly redesign the Cybertruck batteries to switch to conventional 2170 batteries, he added.

Cracked window

Musk introduced a 2019 Cybertruck in which the car’s designer cracked the car’s supposed “armor glass” windows. The company has pushed back the production timeline three times: from late 2021 to late 2022, then to early 2023 and most recently to a mid-2023 target for initial production.

The Cybertruck launch would give Tesla an EV entrant into the most lucrative segment of the U.S. market and rival electric pickups from the likes of Ford Motor Co ( F.N ) and Rivian Automotive ( RIVN.O ), both of which have launched a limited number of models. In January, Musk cited shortages in sourcing components as a reason to launch the Cybertruck in 2023.

In May, Tesla stopped taking orders for the Cybertruck outside of North America. Musk said at the time that the company had “more orders for the first Cybertruck than we could probably fill three years into production.” Automakers often slow production for an all-new model like the Cybertruck.

Analysts also warn that a weak global economy will begin to weigh on sales for Tesla, which has managed to sell every car it has so far. Musk said he expected the coming recession to last “probably into the spring of ’24.”

IDRA Group, the Italian company that makes the Giga press used for die-casting parts for the Cybertruck, said in a LinkedIn post last week that the 9,000-ton machine for producing truck parts is packed and ready to ship.


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