Exclusive: Tesla postpones first production of Cybertruck until early 2023 – source

SAN FRANCISCO, January 13 (Reuters) – Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) aims to launch its first production of its long-awaited Cybertruck by the end of the first quarter of 2023, pushing back plans to start production late this year, one person familiar with the case told Reuters on Thursday.

The person said that the delay comes as Tesla changes the features and functions of the electric pickup to create a compelling product as competition increases in the segment.

Tesla is expected to make limited production of the Cybertruck in the first quarter of 2023 before increasing production, the source said.

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Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Tesla, the world’s best electric car manufacturer, makes electric sedans and sporty vehicles, but has missed the pickup segment, which is profitable and hugely popular in America.

Ford Motor Co (UN) and Rivian Automotive (RIVN.O) are ahead of Tesla in launching electric pickups.

Ford said earlier this month that it will nearly double the annual production capacity of its red-hot F-150 Lightning electric pickup to 150,000 vehicles before reaching U.S. dealers this spring.

Ford’s market value broke $ 100 billion for the first time on Thursday when Tesla shares fell 6.7% and Rivian fell 7.1%. read more

CEO Elon Musk, who unveiled the futuristic vehicle in 2019, had already delayed production from the end of 2021 to the end of 2022.

Musk has said he will provide an updated product roadmap to Tesla’s earnings call on January 26.

“Oh man, this year has been such a nightmare in the supply chain and it’s not over!”, He tweeted at the end of November, when asked about the Cybertrucken.

Tesla recently removed a reference to the production schedule from the Cybertruck order website. Last month, the website said: “You will be able to complete the configuration as production approaches in 2022.” Now “in 2022” is left out.

Tesla plans to produce the Cybertruck at its Texas plant, which is expected to begin production of Model Y cars earlier this year.

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Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin in San Francisco Editing by Peter Henderson and Matthew Lewis

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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