Navigating Tesla's Cybertruck Challenges: A Bumpy Road Ahead
by Lucky LI on Oct 20, 2023
In Tesla's recent third-quarter earnings call, CEO Elon Musk delved into the intricate landscape surrounding the Cybertruck, arguably Tesla's most awaited vehicle. Here are the key takeaways from his candid insights.
"We Dug Our Grave"
- In a moment of brutal honesty, Musk admitted, "We dug our grave for Cybertruck." This stark admission underscores the formidable challenges Tesla confronts in bringing this revolutionary vehicle to life. Musk described the Cybertruck as a rare gem, a product that surfaces "once in a long while." Such unique innovations inherently pose difficulties in scaling, market introduction, and ensuring profitability.
- Musk emphatically highlighted the hurdles Tesla faces with the Cybertruck. "There will be enormous challenges in reaching volume production with the Cybertruck," he asserted. He attributed these challenges to the vehicle's groundbreaking technology and its vast disparities from conventional vehicles.
- Drawing a clear line between prototyping and mass production, Musk commented, "Prototypes are easy; production is hard." Stressing the immense complexity of the latter, he noted that it's "10,000% harder to achieve volume production than creating a prototype."
- Musk drew on his extensive experience, noting that achieving volume production and prosperity would demand immense "blood, sweat, and tears." While he has encountered similar challenges with other Tesla vehicles, the Cybertruck presents its distinct set of obstacles.
Cybertruck Preorders & Annual Production
While Musk hailed the Cybertruck as potentially Tesla's "best product ever," he was realistic about the financial trajectory. He estimates it might take "a year to 18 months before it becomes a significant positive cash flow contributor." Musk pointed out that the demand for the Cybertruck isn't an issue, with over "1 million people who've reserved the car." The challenge lies in producing it at an affordable price.
Addressing delivery expectations for 2024, Musk was cautiously optimistic. He acknowledged the challenge of making accurate predictions due to the radical nature of the Cybertruck. "If you want to do something radical and innovative...it is extremely difficult because there's nothing to copy," Musk stated. However, he provided a rough estimate, projecting that by 2025, Tesla would achieve a production rate of "roughly 0.25 million Cybertrucks a year."
Since its debut in 2019, the Cybertruck's specifications have undergone changes. Influenced by rivals like Rivian R1T and Ford F-150 Lightning, Tesla adjusted its dimensions. Initially 232 inches long and 80 inches wide, recent enthusiasts' measurements suggest a width of 78 inches, closer to Tesla's Model S.
Despite uncertainties surrounding specifications, the Cybertruck remains an eagerly anticipated vehicle. Musk's candid discussion paints a vivid picture of the challenges lying ahead. Nonetheless, Tesla has announced its Cybertruck delivery event on November 30th at Giga Texas, marking a crucial milestone in Tesla's ambitious journey.