Electric carmaker Tesla, Inc. (TSLA) may have indefinitely postponed production of its Cybertruck. The vehicle, whose prototype was unveiled in November 2019, was due for customer delivery in 2021. Last year, the company announced a delay in its production schedule to August 2022 due to the pandemic shutdown.
But the Cybertruck's landing page on the Tesla website now no longer mentions the new date for start of production. The latest change in the vehicle's delivery status was first reported by auto website Edmunds. Tesla CEO Elon Musk had previously tweeted, in November, that he would provide an updated product roadmap in the company's next earnings call on Jan. 26.
- Tesla stock fell by nearly 5% after news that its Cybertruck production date will be delayed yet again.
- The electric carmaker previously delayed production of the vehicle to 2022.
- Tesla competitors are racing ahead with their plans to release their versions of all-electric pickup trucks.
The company's shares fell by nearly 5% to $1,054.48 after news of the delay came out as investors fretted about its impact on the company's top line. But Wedbush analyst Dan Ives said that the decline was a "knee jerk reaction" reaction by investors. According to him, Tesla is likely to have a 2023 production start date for the truck at its facility in Austin, which is slated to begin operations next week.
Tesla was also plagued with supply chain and chip shortage issues that affected other carmakers during the pandemic. However, the company devised workarounds, set new records for deliveries, and even opened two new manufacturing facilities in that period.
The Cybertruck presents its own set of unique design challenges. For example, it will need a massive windshield wiper. Musk has previously tweeted that he was considering deploying a wiper that stows in the front trunk but that it was a "complex affair."
When it was launched, the Cybertruck drew sharp reactions from critics and enthusiasts. Its angular and sleek design more resembled a futuristic vehicle than an ordinary pickup truck. CEO Musk's faux pas—an empty boast about the truck's unbreakable "armor glass"—also generated headlines and viral videos. Less than a year later, he claimed that the company had received more than half-million reservations for the vehicle. (With a refundable $100 deposit, it is relatively easy to reserve the truck on Tesla's website.)
Meanwhile, Tesla's competitors have raced ahead with their own versions of all-electric pickups. For example, Ford Motor Company (F) is slated to begin customer deliveries for an all-electric version of its F-150 truck in Spring 2022. General Motors Company (GM) plans to release a budget all-electric version of its Hummer in the first half of 2023. According to research firm Mordor Intelligence, the market for electric trucks is slated to reach $44 billion by 2026.