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Tesla Cybertruck With Higher Price and Lower Range arrives Two Years Behind Schedule. Technostation

Tesla’s pricier-than-expected Cybertruck pickup, which has a futuristic SUV-like feel but lower driving ranges than CEO Elon Musk promised, has disappointed some but captivated others.

The Cybertruck, two years late, competes with Ford’s F150 Lightning, Rivian Automotive’s R1T, and General Motors’ Hummer EV in a hot pickup truck market.

Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, one of the first dozen customers to pick up the Cybertruck on Thursday, said it drives and feels like Tesla’s Model X SUV.

Initial impression: nice, drives like my Model X. Ohanian live-streamed his first Cybertruck drive on X. It’s big but manageable. He’d be the “coolest dad” picking up his child from school.

The Cybertruck costs $60,990, nearly 50% more than CEO Elon Musk claimed in 2019. That may reduce vehicle appeal. Pre-launch Tesla stock is down nearly 2%.

After Musk promised a cheaper, longer-range Cybertruck in 2019, Texas financial services CEO Christian Cook was dissatisfied.

“The truck pricing and range are a huge letdown,” Cook, who drives a Model 3, told Reuters. He made financial decisions based on his Cybertruck intentions. My regard for Musk has plummeted. My Tesla devotion has plummeted.”

CFRA analyst Garrett Nelson expects Tesla to modify prices based on demand when customers cancel reservations because of the high price.

Analysts and branding experts expect the glossy, bullet-proof stainless steel Cybertruck, inspired by a James Bond car-turned-submarine, to strengthen Tesla’s brand after sharp price cuts to encourage demand.

“The Cybertruck is popular. Langston partner Spencer Imel said it revives Tesla’s brand.

While this could be helpful, it won’t necessarily translate to Tesla becoming a mainstream brand like Ford, which caters to the typical car owner.

Analysts were worried about the electric pickup’s pricing and longer financial payoff period.

This week, Musk yelled at sponsors who abandoned his X social media network, formerly Twitter, over antisemitic content in a live interview, casting doubt on his capacity to maintain the Tesla brand.

Allen Adamson, co-founder of brand and marketing consultant Metaforce, said investors and some consumers were apprehensive and may hurt Tesla’s appeal.

According to JP Kuehlwein, an adjunct professor of marketing at Columbia University Business School, “many of Tesla’s early adopters who bought into the dream of a sustainable future are kind of rudely woken up” by a “rebel” turned “misguided person” by some of his “strange things.”

Cybertruck won’t boost Tesla’s finances next year, analysts say. Bernstein said 250 deliveries this year and 75,000 next year “may be ambitious.”

Musk said Tesla would produce 250,000 Cybertrucks in 2025.

The company has frequently cautioned that expanding the product and being free cash flow positive until mid-2025 would be difficult and hurt profitability.

Tesla needs a brand revamp to combat declining electric-vehicle demand and increased competition.

Tesla’s current car models are getting outdated and don’t appeal to a broad enough range of customers. They also don’t have any new, affordable cars coming out until at least 2025.

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