Tesla Cybertruck, Semi and Roadster are delayed to “hopefully next year”, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in an earnings call with the company’s quarterly figures on Wednesday. Musk’s comments confirm what Reuters and other media outlets had reported earlier this month.
“If we were to introduce new vehicles, our total vehicle output will decrease,” Musk reportedly said. “We will not be introducing new vehicle models this year.” He also said, “The fundamental focus of Tesla this year is scaling output. So, both last year and this year, if we were to introduce new vehicles, our total vehicle output would decrease.”
Overall, Tesla earned a profit of $2.3 billion in the fourth quarter after delivering a total of 308,600 cars. That means, Musk said, that Tesla has achieved positive profitability since the company’s inception, which he called a “critical milestone.”
Still, Tesla shares fell sharply after Wednesday’s earnings announcement but recovered somewhat before the market closed Thursday evening. The Tesla CEO pointed out that factories are not running at full capacity due to supply chain issues, and that has not been the case in recent months.
“The chip shortage while better than last year, is still an issue,” Musk said, “There are multiple supply chain challenges. And last year was hard to predict and hopefully, this year will be smooth sailing, but I’m not sure what you do for an encore to 2021, 2020.”
When asked what’s holding back the Cybertruck besides battery production and supply chain issues, Musk said pricing and the price people are willing to pay is the main issue: “How do we make the Cybertruck affordable? ” The Cybertruck originally had a starting price of $39,900 when it was unveiled in 2019. At that time, the plan was to launch the vehicle in late 2021, a date that was later pushed back to the end of 2022 and now to 2023.
Musk was also asked about the progress of the previously announced $25,000 compact car?
“Well, we’re not currently working on a $25,000 car. At some point we will, but we have enough on our plate right now, too much on our plate, frankly,” the Tesla boss replied, before announcing that he thought that was the wrong question and that it really depends on when the cars become self-driving and the price of transportation is reduced to a quarter or a fifth. Later in the conversation, he also said that even if the price of the cars did not change at all, Tesla would sell everything they could produce.