|Image Credit:Jeenah Moon/Reuters|
Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) aims to start initial production of its long-awaited Cybertruck by the end of the first quarter of 2023, pushing plans to start production later this year, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters on Thursday.
He said the delay comes when Tesla changes the features and functions of the electric pickup to make it a compelling product as competition heats up in the segment.
Tesla is expected to produce a limited production of the Cybertruck in the first quarter of 2023 before ramping up production, the source said.
Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Tesla, the world’s largest electric car maker, produces electric sedans and SUVs, but has lost the pickup truck segment, which is profitable and hugely popular in America.
Ford Motor Co (FN) and Rivian Automotive (RIVN.O). are ahead of Tesla in launching electric pickups.
Ford said early this month it will nearly double annual production capacity for its red-hot F-150 lightning electric pickup to 150,000 vehicles ahead of its arrival this spring at U.S. dealers.
Ford’s market value topped $ 100 billion for the first time on Thursday, when Tesla shares fell 6.7% and Rivian’s shares fell 7.1%.
CEO Elon Musk, who unveiled the futuristic vehicle in 2019, had already delayed production from late 2021 to late 2022.
“Oh man, this year has been such a nightmare for the supply chain and it’s not over yet!” He tweeted in late November when asked about the Cybertruck.
Tesla recently removed a reference to its production schedule from its Cybertruck orders website. Last month, the website said, “You will be able to complete your setup as production nears in 2022.” Now “in 2022” has been omitted.
Tesla plans to produce the Cybertruck at its plant in Texas, which is slated to begin production of Model Y cars earlier this year.