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As we quickly approach the official Tesla Cybertruck release date, Elon Musk is getting a bit more honest about the realities of Cybertruck production. Despite the many, many setbacks, the Cybertruck is coming to homes near you, or maybe even your home. However, you should be realistic about when you might start seeing these trucks regularly. Elon Musk told investors, “We dug our own graves with the Tesla Cybertruck” in regards to scaling production. 

What’s going on with Tesla Cybertruck production? 

Closeup of the new rims on an entry-level 2024 Tesla Cybertruck priced around $49,990/
Tesla Cybertruck pre-production prototype | Nic Coury/Bloomberg via Getty Images

It’s hard to say at the moment, but recent comments from the Techno King don’t seem promising. Musk says he has driven the Cybertruck, and “it is an amazing product.” But “there will be enormous challenges in reaching volume production with the Cybertruck and in making the Cybertruck cash-flow positive.”

Earlier this Summer, a German outlet, Handelsblatt, published leaked documents that showed that Tesla was struggling to build the Cybertruck. Musk says that while prototypes are easy to build, it’s “10,000%  harder,” he insists because the truck is so “radical” and “special.” This isn’t a revelation to many. Car manufacturers know that large, flat pieces of metal are hard to make look perfect. Stainless steel is also a very unforgiving material. There is a reason car makers don’t do certain designs. 

“I think it is our best product ever,” says the CEO, but because it is so different and tech-heavy, it will be hard to manufacture. Manufacturing for the Cybertruck is tough, and that toughness is going to contribute to three major sticking points: wait times, price, and profits. 

How long is the wait time for the Cybertruck? 

There are over 1 million reservations for Cybertruck. Musk estimates that Tesla Cybertruck production won’t scale up to 250,000 units before 2025, which is what the company needs to be profitable. Assuming no one else buys a Cybertruck in 2024, the current list will take a few years to get through.  Because of this demand, Tesla added a clause to the contract that allows the company to sue owners for selling the truck within a year of buying. But they then removed that clause quietly following media backlash.

“I want to temper expectations for Cybertruck,” Musk said while making the absurd claim that “there have not been new car [brands] that have been successful for 100 years, apart from Tesla.” 

Hopefully, the Mexico plant will help ease production needs, although Musk says the project will not proceed until interest rates come down and people can afford vehicles again.

The Cybertruck is a sign of the times

Production delays, insane prices, and long wait times have defined the last few years of the automotive industry. The Cybertruck embodies these frustrations in the most extreme ways. That said, the Tesla truck is also exciting and moving the needle in car manufacturing. If Tesla can pull it off, we will likely see a change in car design. It is an exciting and frustrating time to be a car lover. I guess all that’s left to do is see how deep the grave is.