Cybertruck began to arrive to customers: how Tesla’s success depends on it

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Elon Musk introduced the futuristic Cybertruck pickup truck in 2019, but the first customers received the car only in 2023. Let’s look at why the Cybertruck is extremely important for the Tesla product line

What’s the trend?

In 2019, Tesla became the leader in the global electric vehicle market. The volume of deliveries amounted to 367.5 thousand vehicles, which is 50% higher than in 2018. On the wave of success, the head of the corporation, Elon Musk, announced the Cybertruck. This is a futuristic car with which Tesla began producing pickup trucks.

Deliveries were initially scheduled for 2021. However, the Cybertruck has faced delays due to its unusual design. In particular, the body of the angular pickup truck was promised to be made of stainless steel, and a WSJ source said that the company “spent months” to lighten the design. Therefore, the car began to be delivered only on November 30, 2023. Peter Wells, Professor of Business and Sustainability at Cardiff University, said : “Tesla is going through a difficult transition. The corporation used to be a rule-rewriting innovator, but now it’s just one of the [electric vehicle] manufacturers trying to maintain sales volumes. In many ways, the future of the company depends on the Cybertruck.”

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Tesla’s position in the world

In China, Tesla faces numerous regional rivals and ranks second in sales behind Shenzhen-based BYD. The corporation’s share in the electric vehicle market fell from 15% in 2020 to 10% in 2022 and continues to decline.

In Europe, Tesla reduced prices in 2023. According to Wells, the company faces the problem of any growing corporation: producing in large volumes has a positive impact on costs, but undermines exclusivity and the ability to maintain premium prices. Tesla continues to be the European leader, maintaining about 20% of the electric vehicle market. However, the Cybertruck will not affect these figures: American pickups are not suitable for the narrow streets of European cities.

The Cybertruck is a product primarily for the American market, where Tesla has also cut prices in early 2023. Tesla’s U.S. sales are up over 2022, but the company is also losing 57% of the market to rivals.

Cybertruck potential

Buyers have already reserved 2 million Cybertrucks, and the waiting list for it is five years. The spread of pickup trucks will demonstrate whether Tesla can increase production and maintain premium prices. Peter Wells adds : “The car’s styling may not appeal to the traditionally conservative segment. The stated characteristics are impressive, but perhaps they are unnecessary – the ability to tow a load weighing 6.4 tons will rarely be useful.

Problems with Cybertruck

Early production of the Cybertruck presented a number of challenges. The models had many problems with build quality and finish. These included large gaps in the panels, as well as bubbles and other defects in the plastic film of the case. Peter Wells emphasizes : “If the Cybertruck is not a success, then Tesla’s entire product line will be obsolete, and the company will have to defend its market share from competitors.”

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