Yesterday, Tesla held the 2023 installment of its annual shareholders meeting. In it, Elon Musk said a lot of wild things, but nestled among them was one true gem: He wants the Cybertruck to outsell not just other electric pickups, but gas-burning trucks as well. When asked by an investor about the scale of full-tilt Cybertruck production, Must initially floated the idea of 250,000 trucks per year as a “reasonable guess.” He then went on to say “It might be 500,000, I dunno.”
2023 Annual Shareholders Meeting
Those sound like big numbers, but are they really? Well, in 2022, Chevrolet sold 324,603 Silverado 1500s. Rather than eyeing the F-150 Lightning, Musk seems to be targeting fuel-burning pickups as competition for his EV.
The Lightning, for comparison, sold 15,617 units in 2022. Musk seems intent on beating out Ford by an order of magnitude, and defining that level of unprecedented success as a “reasonable guess.” All this while admitting that controlling costs for the pickup, in hopes of getting its price anywhere near the $40,000 he originally claimed, will be a struggle.
Luxury trucks are popular, sure, but does Musk expect to sell half a million electrified pickups for $50,000 each? $60,000? More? At some point, the capability of a plant to produce more cars ceases to be the issue — a lack of demand, instead, takes over.
It’s possible that the Cybertruck arrives as some sort of revelation, costing eight dollars each and driving for one million miles before needing a charge. In that situation, I can see an oversized irreparable electric pickup selling in the numbers Musk wants. But with feasible range, and at feasible prices, his goals seem to be a long shot.
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