Musk Says No Volume Production for Tesla Cybertruck until 2025

Jackson Wheeler
7 Min Read


  • In an investor call, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said production of the long-awaited Cybertruck will not reach capacity next year.
  • Musk also said Tesla is “tracking the Model Y to be the best-selling car on Earth” this year.
  • Tesla produced 430,488 vehicles globally in the third quarter and delivered 435,059, of which 419,074 were Model 3s and Model Ys.

If you’re one of the last of the million or so consumers with a reservation for the Tesla Cybertruck, don’t expect to take delivery before 2028. In Tesla’s quarterly earnings investor call Wednesday, CEO Elon Musk said production will not reach capacity next year, and the radical entry into legacy automakers’ most profitable segment, pickup trucks, will not be “revenue-positive” in 2024.

“If you want to do something radical and different, it is extremely difficult because there’s nothing to copy,” Musk said. “I think we’ll end up with roughly a quarter-million units a year, probably sometime in 2025. That’s my best guess.”

Musk’s comments came in response to an anonymous investor question that was sent in prior to the earnings call, and which received the most votes from Tesla fanboys and fangirls online. The question of whether Cybertruck production will really start this year did not come up, though Musk did say he is driving around Austin, Texas, home of Tesla’s headquarters, in one.

As is tradition, reporters listening in were not able to ask questions.

Best guess on how many consumers have deposits on the Cybertruck are uncertain. It’s maybe 2 million, maybe 1 million, depending on which online media site you hold in the highest regard. If it’s still the bigger number, some intended buyers could wait well into the ‘30s.

tesla semi with tesla vehicles

Tesla

Another pre-call question asked; “Do you have an approximate timeline in mind for the Robotaxi (driven or non-driven)?”

“The Robotaxi is by necessity non-driven,” Musk replied. He then proceeded with a long, rambling promotion of self-driving technology and the artificial intelligence underlying Tesla’s systems. “I don’t think anyone’s going to do better than Tesla” with AI, “not by a long shot.”

He added, “at some point, the robots will manufacture the robots.”

In his opening comments, Musk said that Tesla has the “best AI team in the world, period. And it’s getting better.” He asserted that its AI knowhow has the potential to make Tesla “the most valuable company in the world.” (Watch out, Apple.)

Musk gave no answer for the Robotaxi’s commercial debut, though he said last July, in Tesla’s second-quarter earnings call that it also would be on the road before the end of this year.

Regarding sales of Tesla’s popular SUV, Musk said, “we are tracking the Model Y to be the best-selling car on Earth” this year.

“There’s a lot of people who assume we have liability, based on the lawsuits,” Musk quipped.

Another sent-in question noted that Mercedes-Benz is “accepting legal liability” when its Level 3 Drive Pilot is activated. When is Tesla planning to accept legal liability for Full Self-Driving?

“There’s a lot of people who assume we have liability, based on the lawsuits,” Musk quipped.

He said that Tesla’s previously announced “high-volume, low-cost” small vehicle “is much more conventional” than the Cybertruck. “We are doing everything to simplify the vehicle to achieve a units-per-minute (production) rate unheard of in the industry. … It’ll be cool, but it’s utilitarian.”

Message: If you can’t beat them with design, beat them with production efficiency.

2023 tesla model 2 rendering

What a “high-volume, low-cost” small vehicle (i.e., a Model 2) could look like.

Autoweek

In its earnings report, Tesla posted adjusted earnings before income taxes (EBITDA) of $3.758 billion, a drop of 24% from the third-quarter of 2022. Automotive revenues totaled $19.625 billion for the last quarter, up 9% from a year earlier, though lower than the last three quarters.

Tesla produced 430,488 vehicles globally in the third quarter and delivered 435,059, of which 419,074 were Model 3s and Model Ys. The EV-maker’s volume target of 1.8 million is unchanged.


the track club

Musk lamented rising interest rates and wars breaking out that could affect Tesla’s outlook in the coming year.

Also, it must be noted that Tesla’s audio-only online Q3 call-in caught Musk mid-sentence, about three minutes into the beginning of the call, and again for 30-40 seconds in the middle of an answer to a banking analyst’s question, which recalls the 25 minutes of silence before Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis could announce his presidential candidacy last May on Musk’s other baby, Twitter (now, X).

Share your thoughts on the state of Tesla and what we might expect to see from the automaker in 2024 in the comments below.

Headshot of Todd Lassa

Contributing Editor

As a kid growing up in Metro Milwaukee, Todd Lassa impressed childhood friends with his ability to identify cars on the street by year, make, and model. But when American automakers put an end to yearly sheetmetal changes, Lassa turned his attention toward underpowered British sports cars with built-in oil leaks. After a varied early journalism career, he joined Autoweek, then worked in Motor Trend’s and Automobile’s Detroit bureaus, before escaping for Mountain Maryland with his wife, three dogs, three sports cars (only one of them British), and three bicycles. Lassa is founding editor of thehustings.news, which has nothing to do with cars.

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Jackson Wheeler is a skilled editor at Speedofdaily.com, specializing in automotive content. With a background in Journalism and Automotive Engineering, he combines his passion for cars with his writing expertise to deliver captivating articles. Jackson's deep knowledge of automotive technology and his racing experience make him a valuable asset to the team, providing readers with informative and engaging content.
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