Tesla Cybertruck arrives two years behind schedule with higher price, shorter driving range

Tesla’s more expensive-than-expected Cybertruck pickup, which offers driving range that’s far less than CEO Elon Musk promised, has deeply disappointed some but captivated others with its futuristic, SUV-like feel .

The Cybertruck, two years behind schedule, is entering the hot pickup truck market to compete with the likes of Ford’s F150 Lightning, Rivian Automotive’s R1T and General Motors’ Hummer EV.

Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, who was among the first dozen customers to pick up the vehicle Thursday, said the Cybertruck drives and feels like Tesla’s Model

Ohanian calls social media platform “the best dad” while raising his child at school.

Starting at $60,990 (roughly Rs. 51 lakh), the Cybertruck is 50 percent more expensive than what CEO Elon Musk had said in 2019. This may reduce the appeal of the vehicle. Tesla stock is down more than 2 percent since the launch.

Among those disappointed is Texas-based financial services executive Christian Cook, who booked a Cybertruck in 2019 after Musk promised an affordable pickup that would travel far on a single charge.

“The price and range of the truck are very low,” Cook, who drives a Model 3, told Reuters. He has made some financial decisions based on his plan to purchase the Cybertruck. “My respect for Musk has taken a huge blow. My loyalty to Tesla has taken a huge blow.”

CFRA analyst Garrett Nelson said the steep price tag will likely cause customers to cancel reservations and expects Tesla to adjust pricing based on demand going forward.

The Cybertruck, made of shiny, bullet-proof stainless steel and inspired by the submarine-turned-car from the James Bond film, is likely to lift Tesla’s brand, which has been hit by a steep price cut to boost demand, according to analysts and Branding. has influenced. expert.

“The Cybertruck gets a lot of attention. It brings Tesla to mind again,” said Spencer Immel, partner at consumer insights firm Langston.

“But we don’t think this will help Tesla become a mass-market brand and compete with brands like Ford that are catering to everyday car buyers,” he said.

Indeed, the price of the electric pickup and the long wait for significant financial payments have left analysts worried.

Musk’s personal ability to build the Tesla brand has also been questioned after a live interview this week in which he cursed advertisers who blocked his former social media platform, formerly known as Twitter, because of anti-Semitic content. Had, had left.

That’s causing jitters among investors and some consumers and could hurt Tesla’s appeal, said Alan Adamson, co-founder of brand and marketing consultancy Metaforce.

“Many of Tesla’s early adopters, who dreamed of a sustainable future, are being rudely woken up,” as some of the “weird things” he has done have transformed him from a “rebel” to a “misguided person” . Some people do, said J.P. Kuehlwein, an assistant professor of marketing at Columbia University Business School.

Analysts say the Cybertruck won’t do much for Tesla’s financial position next year. Bernstein forecast 250 deliveries this year and 75,000 deliveries next year, saying both “could be ambitious”.

Musk has said that Tesla is likely to reach a production rate of about 250,000 Cybertrucks per year in 2025.

The company has repeatedly warned that it will face significant challenges in scaling the product and turning free cash flow positive – possibly not until mid-2025 – which could negatively impact profitability.

A brand refresh would be important for Tesla, especially at a time when the company is grappling with slowing electric-vehicle demand as well as increasing competition.

Bernstein analysts said, “Tesla has a product problem – that is, an aging line-up that doesn’t adequately address the market, and possibly no new mass-market offerings until late 2025.”

© Thomson Reuters 2023

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