EXCLUSIVE – Tesla delays initial production of Cybertruck until early 2023 – sources via Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The logo of automaker Tesla is seen at a dealership in London, England, May 14, 2021. REUTERS/Matthew Childs/File Photo

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Kim Hyun Joo

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Tesla Inc (Nasdaq: ) aims to begin initial production of its highly anticipated Cybertruck by the end of the first quarter of 2023, according to people familiar with the matter Its plans to start production later this year told Reuters on Thursday.

Tesla is changing the features and functions of its electric pickup to make a compelling product as competition in the field intensifies, the person said, delaying the launch.

Tesla expects to limited production of the Cybertruck in the first quarter of 2023 before ramping up production, the sources said.

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Tesla is the world’s largest electric car maker, making electric sedans and sport utility vehicles, but has missed out on the hugely popular and lucrative pickup truck market in the United States.

Ford Motor (NYSE: ) Co and Rivian Automotive are ahead of Tesla in launching an electric pickup.

Ford said earlier this month that it would nearly double annual production capacity for its red-hot F-150 Lightning electric pickup to 150,000 units before arriving at U.S. dealerships this spring.

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

CEO Elon Musk, who unveiled the futuristic car in 2019, has delayed production from late 2021 to late 2022.

Musk has said he will provide an updated product roadmap during Tesla’s Jan. 26 earnings call.

“Oh man, this year has been a supply chain nightmare and it’s not over!” he tweeted in late November when asked about the Cybertruck.

Tesla recently removed references to its production plans from its Cybertruck order website. Last month, the site said, “As 2022 production approaches, you will be able to complete the configuration.” Now “2022” has been omitted.

Tesla plans to build the Cybertruck at its factory in Texas and is expected to start producing Model Y vehicles early this year.

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