By on January 31, 2022

During last week’s earnings call, Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirmed that the Cybertruck would be delayed until at least 2023. That places the polygonal pickup two years behind its original schedule. But who among us with knowledge of the automaker’s production history actually thought it would be delivered on time?

Delaying products has become a hallmark of the Tesla brand and Musk doesn’t seem to be sweating it. Rather than focusing on launching a new vehicle for 2022, the business wants to prioritize increasing capacity and finalizing its move from California to Texas. Now based in Austin, Tesla made $5.5 billion last year compared with the previous record year of $3.47 billion in net income posted in 2020. Musk said the shift into routine profitability is proof that EVs are viable, adding that the company could have done even better if factory output hadn’t been so constrained last year. Unfortunately, those hurdles haven’t dissipated for 2022, encouraging the automaker to wait on both the Tesla Cybertruck and Roadster. 

While the company has had its sights focused on improving production capacity by setting up new facilities around the world, Musk expressed concerns about the global chip shortage. He remained confident that volume would come up by 50 percent in 2022 (vs 2021). But feared that supply constraints could make any new models more trouble than they’re worth.

Due to the popularity of the semiconductor chip excuse, I’ve come to the conclusion that its become the default explanation for domestic manufacturers walking back targets or failing to reach stated goals. While you occasionally hear foreign automakers cite shipping obstacles relating to the varied pandemic restrictions between nations and unique component shortages — usually in tandem with the worldwide deficit of semiconductors — American brands rarely bring up anything other than the missing chips whenever a factory needs to be idled.

But Tesla doesn’t need an excuse. The brand has been around long enough for us to know what it’s about and product delays are par for the course. Unfortunately, that also means there’s a good chance Tesla’s upcoming pickup won’t be how exactly you remembered it. Back in 2019, Tesla estimated that the production of the dual-motor and tri-motor Cybertruck (both all-wheel drive) would begin in late 2021. A rear-drive variant was supposed to follow roughly a year later with an MSRP just shy of $40,000.

Delays already seemed assured, though the company failed to confirm anything until August of 2021. Postponements have come to be expected in the subsequent months. Meanwhile, the industry having failed to produce cars anywhere near a normal pace over the last two years has sent pricing into the stratosphere — making that sub $40,000 starting point feel like wishful thinking.

The truck itself has also been changing. Many people had questions about whether or not Cybertruck would receive regulatory approval in its conceptual format in 2019, noting the absence of wipers and door handles. Tesla has since added both, with the pickup also receiving traditional folding mirrors and a few other tweaks. Musk has previously said that the general design will remain consistent with the concept. But we know that the automaker has shrunk the vehicle’s size slightly (3 percent, according to Elon) and given it a flatter-looking roofline. The beltline also appears to have been lowered.

Tesla’s CEO also poured water cold water over any suggestions the business was on the cusp of launching a $25,000 battery electric vehicle to be slotted below the Model 3. Musk has been referencing the prospective vehicle sporadically since 2018, saying all it needs is for battery production costs to come down. But it appears to be little more than a quick way of pumping up investors and keeping the hopes of the underpaid alive. In 2020, the executive again suggested that a $25,000 all-electric hatchback could arrive within three years. But he confirmed no such vehicle was in development during last week’s earnings call.

“We are not currently working on a $25,000 car,” Musk said. “At some point we will. We have enough on our plate right now.”

Considering the current focus on maximizing volume, a budget alternative to the Model 3 sounds like a useful addition to Tesla’s lineup. But it’s hard to imagine Tesla coming out with an EV priced below $30,000 that’s of much practical value to the brand. Most budget-conscious electrics retail closer to $35,000 and those starting lower occasionally have ranges that fail to exceed 200 miles between charging. While that doesn’t make them useless, it does limit the number of customers that will be interested. Tesla, which has taken pride in offering luxury products with above-average range estimates, could lose some cachet if it dumps something cheap onto the market to be outclassed by the $30,750 Mini Mini Cooper SE and its 110 miles of range.

[Image: Tesla]

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40 Comments on “Tesla Cybertruck Delayed Until At Least 2023...”


  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Feels like a rehash of the 14 January article:
    https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2022/01/tesla-accepting-crypto-again-cybertruck-delayed/

    The chip shortage didn’t stop Tesla from increasing volume 87% over 2020 levels. And it’s not the reason for delays of new product introductions, but it could impact new product production.

    Their volumes will explode this year and next, with Austin and Berlin about to start any day now. Should be interesting.

    Tesla will never release a car with less than 200 miles EPA range. At least he was clear about the cheaper car project sitting idle. I wonder if it will ever return.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      The Model Ys from Austin will be getting their 4680 cells from the Kato Rd. facility in Fremont. Until Austin’s battery plant is up and running, they’re probably only going to have enough cells for the Y and Semi.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        Since the Semi is also delayed, that leaves just the Y for this year.

        Fulfilling even that demand with 4680s will be a challenge, and it’s not clear to me that Tesla has achieved high yield with that cell yet.

        My understanding is that Fremont Ys could get 2170s, and Austin Ys could get 4680s – so the Tesla geeks will inevitably be comparing them. Sort of like Ford 351 Cleveland vs 351 Windsor engines from the Bad Old Days.

        • 0 avatar
          mcs

          The 4680’s are an improvement over the 2170’s, so I don’t think you’ll see the kind of comparisons we’re seeing with the LFP cells, which have some advantages. The 2170 pack cars probably won’t compare well with the 4680s.

          So far, early production of the Y’s in Austin has been 4680 structural. Don’t know if you mix the two types of production since there is a difference in how the cars are assembled. For example, the 4680 cars have the seats installed on the pack before it goes into the car. Ramp up of Austin should be slow enough for Kato Rd. to keep up and I think their yield is good. I’m not sure where Austin’s battery plant is in terms of readiness. Equipment is there and it doesn’t look that far from starting pilot production.

          One rumor has the 4680 Y as being 400lbs lighter. That rumor is based on an increase of about 400lbs for carrying capacity in government filings. But, it’s just a rumor at this point. Nothing definite.

        • 0 avatar
          SoCalMikester

          back in the 80s one of my teenage female friends had a crush on a guy with a stang with a 351. i told her to ask him if its a windsor or a cleveland. she did, he was impressed, and that was my duckie dale moment

    • 0 avatar
      Matt Posky

      Tesla leaves me with no shortage of opportunities to announce that speculative delays have since been confirmed. Few automakers have.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    Thanks GOD. I don’t want to see this

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    This is not a surprise. We knew from the announcement that this wasn’t going to happen. We knew when the tennis ball broke the bulletproof window that this wasn’t going to happen. We knew from the shape and size that it wasn’t going to happen.

    The fact so many utter fools put money down on this fake, vaporware truck really shows the intelligence level of this country. People so easily duped should be allowed to interact with normal society.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Updated ‘vaporware’ Cybertrucks have been driving around in the open.

      The delays are related to ongoing design work and manufacturability challenges – classic Tesla obstacles.

      Do you really think Tesla will just tap out and let *Ford* take the EV truck market?

      • 0 avatar
        Matt Posky

        Tesla (probably) knows what it’s doing. Cybertruck isn’t ready for market and I think Elon and company are waiting to see exactly what the first round of all-electric pickups are received by the public. Then it’ll do what it can to try and make Cybertruck avoid those pitfalls or dazzle you in ways that’ll help you forget them. In the interim, it can focus on the fundamentals and improving capacity.

      • 0 avatar
        285exp

        It seems a strange choice to give the maker of the #1 selling truck a years head start on you. They have a large dealer network, and I think that an awful lot of traditional truck buyers may prefer that to the Tesla model, they have a truck that looks like a truck from a company known for building trucks. I’m not sure what Tesla would hope to learn from any mistakes Ford had it it’s rollout, and the Cyber Truck is aimed at a different market anyway. They’re going for people who want you to know they’re driving a Tesla truck, not because the vehicle will be any better suited for people who want a truck to do truck things. If they learn from Ford that buyers prefer trucks that look like trucks, not Robo Cop’s new squad car, they can’t really just turn the Cyber Truck into a conventional looking truck without looking pretty stupid for designing it the way it is. They’ll sell a bunch of them to a niche market of tech weenies and influencers, but I doubt that thing is a mass market vehicle.

      • 0 avatar
        EBFlex

        “ Do you really think Tesla will just tap out and let *Ford* take the EV truck market?”

        100%. The CyberTruck is unequivocal proof that Tesla has zero interest in that market or, frankly, any clue what it’s doing.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    I’m surprised Elon isn’t pushing the CyberTruck and Semi through since he supports Truckers so much….

  • avatar
    cardave5150

    Delayed yet again? This is my surprised, no SHOCKED, face.

    Maybe the delay is in re-designing the thing to actually be a sellable, usable truck.

  • avatar
    Imagefont

    The real question is: what will the final design of the windshield wiper look like?

    • 0 avatar
      Matt Posky

      Right now it’s just one GIANT one.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      @ImageFont: I’ll take that one step further. Will it be a reliable design or prone to failure? I worry that any attempts to hide it could result in an unreliable design.

      • 0 avatar
        Imagefont

        They could hide it inside the A-pillar, that would be different. But if they conceal it behind some kind of trap door that’s going to fail at some point or freeze shut. Being in a vertical rest position means that it’s first move is downward, pushing snow downward where it has no place to go. If they do it the way everyone else does it, they’ll have to redesign the way the windshield meets the frunk lid and that will destroy the geometric signature of the vehicles profile so that’s kind of a no go. I’m hoping for a mechanical cyber arm pops out of the roof and reaches down with a squeegee – now that would be cool.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Overhauling the design this late in the game is a bad sign.

      I predict the Cybertruck front wiper will be like the Model X falcon doors – a reliability nightmare.

      That’s a “can’t drive” sort of failure, too.

      • 0 avatar
        Imagefont

        I think they should just copy the Lamborghini Countach gigantic single articulating wiper arm that stood out like some alien mechanical arm. They couldn’t hide the stupid thing so it just sat on the hood and windshield like an oversized praying mantis. Just celebrate the thing, it’s not like the car is aerodynamic and an exposed wiper arm is going to hurt it. It’s already a wind-tunnel disaster. Celebrate the thing, make a giant cyber wiper. The funky wiper arm was one of the cool standout features of the Countach (missing, or course, from the prototype).

        • 0 avatar
          96redse5sp

          Lol! If by “wind tunnel disaster” you mean the most aerodynamic pickup truck design in the world, then yeah – the Cybertruck is a wind tunnel disaster…

    • 0 avatar
      ToolGuy

      Laser. Or maybe electromagnetic. Because according to Tesla, the friction of a conventional wiper system reduces range.

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    “Due to the popularity of the semiconductor chip excuse,…”

    I can tell you the shortage is real. I’ve been canvassing distributors for electronic components for a project I’m working on and even simple things like voltage regulators and transistors are showing 52 week lead times in some cases. I’ve never seen this before. Makes me wonder if China is somehow manipulating the Taiwan fabs to shunt supply over to them, leaving us ugly Americans scrambling for parts.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      We’ve had shortages of chips, adhesives, plastic resins, and even cleaning detergent at our business. It’s been terrible.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      Our Chinese CMs have shortages on exactly the same parts we do here in the US.

      It’s a global marketplace, not some conspiracy. My Chinese colleagues are the Ferengi, just like us Americans: we all seek profit.

  • avatar
    turbo_awd

    Ah yes, the CyberTrick.. I’m thinking at least 2024 or 2025 before it arrives..

  • avatar

    Musk is a marketing genius. supporting the truckers is brilliant!

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    The way the bed and tail gate lower to the ground & become a ramp on the Cyber truck is genius!. I’d buy it just for that. Add an optional winch at the front of the bed for loading a dead snowmobile/garden tractor or dragging something heavy without wheels into the bed and it would be perfect!

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Tesla product delayed? SHOCKING!

    Personally, I hope this is the one that doesn’t make it to production – it’s hideous.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Mini Mini Cooper SE?

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Here I thought the Camaro had visibility issues!

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    Tesla sure is showing those “legacy” automakers how to do it. I am sure being last to market is a brilliant ploy by Elon.

  • avatar
    zipper69

    With it’s debut pushed back once more I’m a little surprised some enterprising custom shop hasn’t built a buck to create fiberglass replica Cybertrucks to sit on a regular truck chassis.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    very interesting:

    Majority of Canadians Now Want COVID Rules to End After Trucker Revolt

    Massive 15 point swing in sentiment suggests trucker are not “fringe minority.”

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