Elon Musk has been generating excitement around Tesla Inc.’s Blade Runner-inspired pickup, Cybertruck. While he recently mentioned driving a prototype in Austin, where Tesla plans to assemble the truck, there have been mixed messages about its availability.
In response to a fan’s request for more details, Musk acknowledged that specifications, pricing, and a delivery date were not ready for release. He emphasized that the construction of the steel-bodied Cybertruck presented significant challenges, highlighting the uncertain nature of this unique product.
Tesla’s Lack of Transparency
Some Tesla enthusiasts are growing impatient due to the lack of consistent information from the company. When the Cybertruck was unveiled in 2019, Musk indicated three configurations starting at $39,900, according to Automotive News Canada.
However, in October 2021, Tesla removed pricing and specs from its website. This has left potential customers uncertain about what to expect. Tesla currently states that those placing a refundable $100 deposit will have the chance to finalize their configuration closer to production.
When asked by an investor in April for updated specifications and pricing, Musk declined and mentioned that he would save those details for a Cybertruck handover event planned for the end of the third quarter. Although the event date has not been announced yet, Tesla has informed owners that they may receive an invitation through a referral program that has recently been reinstated.
In Tesla’s latest earnings release, the company did provide a few details about the Cybertruck. They mentioned that it will be shorter than 19 feet (5.8 meters) with a bed that is more than 6 feet long.
However, the update also included information that might raise concerns about the smoothness of the Cybertruck’s launch. As of the end of June, the Semi truck, which was first delivered to PepsiCo Inc. last year, was still in pilot production.
Musk’s Cybertruck Email
If the previous information didn’t diminish expectations regarding the speed at which Tesla will increase Cybertruck production, an email sent by Musk to all employees last week took it a step further.
In the email obtained by CNBC, Musk expressed dissatisfaction with the precision of the components being built. He emphasized the need for all Cybertruck parts, both internal and external, to be designed and built with an accuracy of less than 10 microns. This is smaller than the diameter of a human hair.
Beyond confirming Musk’s perfectionist tendencies, the email also suggests that volume production of the Cybertruck is unlikely to happen in the immediate future.
Tesla needs to start telling the truth about the Cybertruck. If it doesn’t, and the Cybertruck under-delivers, Tesla could suffer irreparable harm.