Elon Musk confirms that the company will prioritise increasing capacity over launching the Cybertruck and Roadster.
Tesla will not launch any new models until 2023 at the earliest, as it focuses its efforts on overcoming the supply chain crisis and scaling up its global production capacity.
The move means the long-awaited Roadster sports car – the launch of which has already been subject to repeated delays – and the radical Cybertruck pick-up will not go into production this year, as had earlier been suggested.
“If we were to introduce new vehicles, our total vehicle output would decrease,” CEO Elon Musk said during the company’s 2021 earnings call, which came as Tesla reported a near doubling of vehicle deliveries as demand for its Model 3 and Model Y soared.
“We will not be introducing new vehicles this year,” Musk confirmed.
Launching a new car in 2021 “wouldn’t have boosted output”, Musk said, emphasising that the additional resources that must be diverted to the launch of a new model would restrict the firm’s ability to produce other models at capacity.
He did say that the business will begin implementing tooling to support production of the Cybertruck and Roadster in 2022, with the aim of launching them “hopefully next year”.
Notably, Tesla only recently withdrew mentions of a 2022 launch date from the online order page for the Cybertruck, though is still taking fully refundable deposits from interested customers, and promises they will be able to configure their vehicle “as production nears”.
Musk’s remarks also dampen anticipation for Tesla’s long-promised ‘sub-$25,000’ (AUD$35,000) electric hatchback, which was expected to launch in 2022 or 2023 as an autonomous-capable rival to C-segment EVs including the Volkswagen ID 3 and Renault Megane E-tech.
Indeed, when asked about progress on this entry-level model, Musk said: “We’re not currently working on the $25,000 car. We have enough on our plate – too much, really.”
Tesla will instead focus on ramping up production capacity at its California, Texas, Shanghai and (eventual) Berlin vehicle factories throughout 2022, following a year in which it achieved record vehicle deliveries despite output being restricted by the supply chain crisis.
Musk also said the firm’s new Optimus robot is arguably Tesla’s most important product in development, given it has “the potential to be more significant than the vehicle business”.