Elon Musk On Tesla Cybertruck: “Hard To Make The Cost Affordable”

Tesla (Nasdaq: TSLA) CEO Elon Musk addressed shareholders at the company’s annual meeting on Tuesday, predicting that the economy would improve in 12 months and promising the long-delayed production Cybertrucks would be delivered later this year.

Musk stated that Tesla will deliver its first Cybertrucks this year and expects to be able to supply 250,000 to 500,000 per year once production begins.

During the Q&A session, the chief executive said that Cybertruck production will start “this year” and that it will be an S-curve: “slow at first, then ramping up.” Then, he immediately circled back by saying, “I guess we’ll see what the demand is.”

“I think we’re likely to do a quarter million a year, maybe more, depends on what the demand is like,” Musk said. “Quarter million is a reasonable guess… it might be five hundred thousand, I don’t know. We’ll make as many as people want it and could afford it.”

He added that it’s not only the quantity and capacity of production that need to be improved, but also the cost of production.

“It’s gonna be hard to make the cost affordable because it is a new car, new manufacturing method,” he said, adding that the Cybertruck’s production rate would be small compared to Tesla’s other models.

Musk unveiled Cybertruck in a now-famous 2019 reveal in which the vehicle’s apparently indestructible “armor glass” windows were shattered. Since then, the business has pushed back the production timeline three times: from late 2021 to late 2022, then to early 2023, and finally to mid-2023.

Tesla stopped collecting orders for the Cybertruck outside of North America in May. Musk stated at the time that the company had “more orders of the first Cybertrucks than we could possibly fulfill for three years after the start of production.”

Since its launch, the Cybertruck prototype has been making rounds online but the anticipated production has yet to start. Tesla then announced in October 2022 that it was preparing its Austin, Texas plant to construct the new model, with “early production” scheduled to begin in the middle of 2023.

“We’re in the final lap for Cybertruck,” Musk said then at the time in a Tesla conference call with financial analysts.

This would mean that the carmaker would not generate revenue for the model until early 2024 for a full-quarter of production and it would probably be another year of waiting for the customers who paid $100 to reserve a unit.

In announcing the Q4 2022 financials earlier this year, the chief executive also said that Cybertruck will have Hardware 4, but the long-delayed vehicle model “will not be a significant contributor to the bottom line but it will be into next year.”

Later in his presentation, Musk touted about the company’s energy storage division, claiming that sales of “big batteries” were growing faster than sales of the company’s main car segment.

During an event to launch the Tesla Semi, the company’s class 8 electric vehicle, Musk unveiled a “next-gen” Tesla Roadster in 2017. He indicated on Tuesday that the Roadster, which was supposed to go into production and delivery in 2020, could now go into production in 2024.

Musk also expressed optimism in Optimus, a humanoid robot in development at Tesla. According to Musk, Optimus should be able to function on the same software and computer that Tesla employs to allow advanced driver assistance systems in its vehicles.

The chief executive stated that Optimus will eventually provide “a majority of long-term value” to Tesla.

Responding to a question about his $44 billion takeover of Twitter, Musk said it was a “short-term distraction” and that he needed to perform “major open-heart surgery” to ensure its survival, before noting that he was excited to have former NBC Universal advertising executive Linda Yaccarino join the company as its new CEO.

Some institutional Tesla investors have chastised Musk for being too distracted as Twitter CEO to perform well at Tesla, but Musk stated on Tuesday that he expects to spend less time on Twitter in the future than he has in the last six months. They have also chastised Tesla’s board, led by Chair Robyn Denholm, for failing to rein him in and safeguard the interests of shareholders.

An audience member inquired about Musk’s rumored retirement from Tesla. Musk responded, “It ain’t so.”

“I think Tesla’s going to play an important role in AI and AGI and I think I need to oversee that to make sure it’s good,” Musk said, adding that Tesla has “by far the most advanced real world AI” of all tech companies today.

Tesla shares ended at $228.52 on October 28, 2022, after Musk officially assumed control of Twitter. Stock of the automaker last traded at $172.40 on the Nasdaq.

Information for this briefing was found via CNBC and the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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