The Cybertruck Is Finally Here, But Was It Worth the Wait?
Better late than never? For Tesla investors, never delivered may be better than ever being delivered at all. Tesla’s (NASDAQ:TSLA) long-awaited Cybertruck — the company’s first car in nearly four years — has finally launched. In true Musk fashion, it’ll be priced at $60,990, with a range of up to 500 miles per charge and speeds surpassing a Porsche 911.
The beginning of the end: Over 1M people have made a $100 refundable deposit to purchase Tesla’s most unique car yet — but they’ll have to wait until 2025 to get its cheapest version, which is much more expensive than the $39.9K price tag promised when it was first announced.
The higher price can be credited to production challenges with the futuristic all-steel pickup — which could constrain the company’s ability to turn a profit on their big investment. CEO Elon Musk cautioned investors to manage their expectations, saying, “We dug our own grave with Cybertruck.”
- Production has been expensive, and analysts worry Cybertruck could be an unprofitable undertaking for Tesla — at least until 2025, when Musk says they’ll produce 250K pickups a year.
- Edmund’s Jessica Caldwell says the vehicle will “sell really well” with some buyers — a recent poll shows 37% of Tesla owners would consider buying the Cybertruck, but Caldwell warns it could struggle with “the mass market.”
Rugged road to profit
$TSLA is up ~95% this year despite investor concerns over its declining profitability, slowing EV sales and increasing competition — and Cybertruck could worsen the company’s profits, with Jefferies analyst Philippe Houchois saying that “canceling Cybertruck” could improve its margins (BBG). But Musk insists that the “insanely difficult” production challenges are “normal” — especially when dealing with new and advanced technology.
- The vehicle has been delayed for over two years, and only 10 Cybertrucks were delivered yesterday on its launch date.
- Musk expects to sell around 250K Cybertrucks annually by 2025 but says it will take 18 months before the car becomes a “significant positive-cash-flow contributor.”
High voltage, higher stakes: Tesla will still have to attract traditional pickup truck owners to buy their iron giant rather than the competing Ford F-150 or RAM 1500. Analysts think Tesla could claw back towards a $1T valuation if he succeeds. But Cybertruck’s biggest challenge still lies ahead: generating a profit for the company.