Elon Musk told Tesla shareholders and Cybertruck reservation holders to “temper their expectations” as he reiterated that it would be very hard to ramp up Cybertruck production.
With the release of Tesla’s Q3 financial results, the automaker announced the start of Cybertruck deliveries on November 30.
On top of the announcement, Tesla also announced that it has an “installed production capacity of 125,000 Cybertrucks” per year at Gigafactory Texas.
Those announcements were in the financial result presentation that was released after market close.
In a conference call following the release, Elon Musk had a very different message. He literally told people to “temper expectations” when it comes to the Cybertruck.
He did his usual speech about “production ramps are 100 times harder than prototypes,” which I am pretty sure I’ve heard 100 times from him at this point.
However, this time, he seemed to be sending a clear warning that it especially applies to the Cybertruck – going as far as saying that Tesla “dug its own grave” by adding complexity to the electric pickup truck:
So, I just want to emphasize that one. I think this is potentially our best product ever. And I think it is our best product ever, but it is going to require immense work to reach volume production and be cash flow positive at a price that people can afford. […] So, I just want to temper expectations for Cybertruck.
The CEO later added that he sees Tesla eventually reaching volume production, which he puts at about 250,000 Cybertrucks per year – 5,000 units a week, within about 18 months.
He also specified that Tesla trying to do something “unique” with the Cybertruck has complicated things as they “can’t copy” other manufacturing techniques and have to invent everything from scratch.
Musk basically told reservation holders and investors not to expect significant volume or positive cash flow from the Cybertruck program until 2025.
While most reasonable people following Tesla already knew about this, Musk making it clear like that sent the stock crashing by as much as 6% in pre-market trading today.
It looks like they were some investors that still held on to the idea that Tesla might have a smoother production ramp with Cybertruck than they did with previous vehicles.
I also think that it is important to note the “at a price that people can afford” comment. I think we can expect Cybertrucks to be quite expensive at first – though I’d still expect Tesla to keep it under $80,000 to get access to the tax credit.
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