Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been actively promoting the long-awaited Cybertruck on social media. However, despite the enthusiasm surrounding the futuristic electric pickup truck, the company is yet to provide final pricing and specifications. In a recent company-wide email, Musk expressed concerns about the manufacturing precision of the Cybertruck due to its unique design and the challenges presented by its “straight edges.”
In Tesla’s second-quarter financial filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, it was revealed that the company’s factory in Austin, Texas, was in the process of “tooling” for the Cybertruck. However, production status was not yet active. Tesla’s shareholder deck also indicated that equipment installation for Cybertruck production was underway, with initial deliveries scheduled for this year. Despite this progress, the company has not announced a specific timeline for mass production.
Elon Musk took to X, formerly Twitter, to share his excitement about test driving the production candidate Cybertruck at Tesla Giga Texas. The term “candidate” refers to an early model of a vehicle used by manufacturers to assess the quality of production systems and assembly lines. While this announcement generated further anticipation, a Tesla enthusiast requested more details regarding specifications, pricing, and estimated delivery event dates.
Elon Musk, who also owns and operates X following a $44 billion buyout, responded to the enthusiast’s request by acknowledging the difficulty of building the Cybertruck. He stated that although he believes it is Tesla’s best product, it presents unprecedented challenges due to its unique design. Musk emphasized that the Cybertruck is unlike anything else in the automotive industry, thus venturing into uncharted territory.
The Challenging Nature of Cybertruck Production
Musk further elaborated on the challenges of producing the Cybertruck in an email sent to all Tesla employees. The email, obtained by CNBC, shed light on Tesla’s struggles with maintaining the desired quality for the vehicle. Musk emphasized that as the Cybertruck is predominantly made of bright metal with straight edges, even the slightest dimensional variation becomes significantly noticeable. Thus, all parts, both internal and from suppliers, need to be designed and built with sub 10-micron accuracy. This level of precision requires millimeter dimensions to be specified to the third decimal place and tolerances to be determined in single-digit microns.
Seeking Perfection through Precision
Musk drew a comparison to low-cost products like LEGO and soda cans, stating that if they can achieve such precision, Tesla can do the same. The email suggests that precision is crucial to ensure the Cybertruck’s success and that Tesla must strive for perfectionism in manufacturing it.
Following Musk’s candid remarks about the challenges associated with producing the Cybertruck and the email circulated among Tesla employees, the company’s stock experienced a slight dip. Investors and enthusiasts may interpret Musk’s transparency as an indication that Tesla is still grappling with quality issues related to the unique design of the Cybertruck.
Elon Musk’s recent comments about the precision required to manufacture the Cybertruck highlight the technical difficulties and challenges associated with building such an unconventional vehicle. While Tesla has made progress in preparing for production, the company is yet to provide specific pricing and specifications. As Tesla navigates uncharted territory with the Cybertruck, it remains to be seen how the company will overcome the manufacturing obstacles to deliver a product that lives up to the hype.