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Tesla Launches Cybertruck Amidst Pricing And Production Challenges
Tesla begins Cybertruck deliveries with prices starting at $60,990, marking a shift in its vehicle range and pricing strategy.
Tesla, the pioneering electric car manufacturer, has recently commenced initial deliveries of its much-anticipated Cybertruck, revealing a new pricing structure. The base model of the Cybertruck, known for its distinctive angular design and steel body, is now priced at $60,990. This marks a notable increase from the initial $40,000 estimate announced in 2019.
The company has also introduced other variants, with an all-wheel drive model slated for 2024 delivery at $79,990, and the high-end Cyberbeast version estimated at $99,990, also expected in 2024.
Delays And Production Hurdles
The introduction of the Cybertruck represents Tesla's first new vehicle launch since the Model Y, which debuted over three years ago. Despite garnering over 1 million pre-orders, the Cybertruck's production was delayed from its planned 2021 start due to engineering and design challenges. Elon Musk, Tesla's CEO, cautioned that ramping up production following the initial deliveries would be a significant challenge, likely extending over 18 months.
During a livestreamed event at Tesla’s Austin headquarters, Musk showcased the Cybertruck, emphasizing its robust features including bulletproof qualities, towing capacity, off-road prowess, four-wheel steering, and acceleration.
Unveiling And Market Expansion Ambitions
Musk, driving a Cybertruck onto the stage, highlighted the vehicle's unique design and potential impact on the automotive landscape. He humorously referenced a 2019 incident where the truck's window was shattered during a demonstration, this time successfully testing the window's resilience with a baseball.
The launch of the Cybertruck is Tesla's strategic move to diversify beyond sedans and SUVs, aiming to compete in the electric pick-up market against established players like Ford, Stellantis, and General Motors.
Financial Context And Market Response
This launch follows a challenging earnings report for Tesla in October, with the company falling short of revenue expectations amidst factory shutdowns, price reductions, and lower vehicle deliveries. Musk expressed concerns about the impact of high interest rates on consumer demand.
Tesla’s Texas facility aims to produce 250,000 Cybertrucks annually, although this target is not expected to be achieved until at least 2025. Jessica Caldwell, an analyst at Edmunds, noted the discrepancy between the initial price claims and the current market reality, where full-size trucks typically sell well above the $40,000 mark. Caldwell views the Cybertruck as a significant risk for Tesla, marking its first foray into a market with well-established competitors.
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