From vehicle development announcement to mass production, the process is becoming more and more like an airplane flight: long, unpredictable, turbulent and delayed. Tesla’s Cybertruck may have finally failed to land. Elon Musk unveiled the battery-powered Starship Trooper on November 21, 2019. Since then, many deadlines have been exceeded. But on July 15th, Tesla’s official Twitter page announced, “First Cybertruck built in Giga Texas!” The attached photo shows what appears to be a pre-production prototype surrounded by the men and women who built it. Congratulations to all involved.
The first Cybertruck built in Giga Texas! 🤠 pic.twitter.com/ODRhHVsd0t
— Tesla (@Tesla)
July 15, 2023
I would have liked to see more of their work, but I’ll save that for the official debut and handover event. For now, you can see the “Giga wiper”, which is a single long blade lined up on the A pillar on the driver’s side. Not sure about the shape of the steering wheel, but it doesn’t look like a yoke. If anything, it feels like the upper surface of the steering wheel will become flat if you turn the front wheel. And maybe it’s because of our eyes, but that bed looks smaller than we expected.
Notice the hand signals some workers are throwing. Two fingertips form an angle like the roof of a Cybertruck. It’s not easy to perform like a wave of jeeps, but I feel like we’ll see it for a little while.
The last official word we got on proper production is that limited assembly will begin this year with “very slow” production volumes, while high volume assembly will begin next year, with a final target of around 375,000 units per year. That’s it. A handover event, scheduled for around the end of September, will likely hand over the keys only to Tesla employees and other insiders. The price is likely to remain a secret until then. The first and only MSRP we got was for 2019, when pickups started at just under $40,000 and tri-motor versions were slated to top out at around $70,000. “This is a difficult product to design, and even harder to manufacture,” Musk said in May, adding that it uses ultra-hard 30X cold-rolled stainless steel, which is known to strain equipment. We believe that the overall manufacturer’s suggested retail price has changed because we are using it. And given that manufacturers want to secure profits by delivering more expensive equipment first, it wouldn’t surprise me to see a six-figure Cybertruck leading the way.
As of November last year, Tesla had about 1.6 million reservations for the truck. Even if only 20% of reservation holders remained (although a population exodus is unlikely), queues for this reservation would be long.