Mike Vousden, Automotive Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view on this pivotal model:
“Tesla has battled for more than 15 years to achieve consistent profit. No one will question the central role that the company’s ground-breaking electric vehicles (EVs) have played in clearing a path to wider acceptance of EVs, but generating regular profit has proven a more elusive target for the Palo Alto-based automaker.
“So tonight’s launch of the Tesla pickup truck – code-named ‘Cybertruck’ – represents a critical opportunity for the brand to secure long-term profitability. Its importance is underscored by two simultaneous trends – the desire, led by legislators and environmentalists, to move away from combustion-powered vehicles and towards EVs, and the sustained and growing popularity of the pickup truck, especially in Tesla’s US home market.
“Entering the pickup segment is an eminently sensible move by Tesla. The segment is the next largest addressable market the company can target after its move into sport utility vehicles (SUVs) with Model Y and Model X, and it is also a growing segment. Pickups’ share of the US light vehicle (LV) market has increased from just under 13% in 2012 to nearly 17.5% so far in 2019.
“However, the market’s attractiveness has not gone under the radar. The Cybertruck faces fierce competition from the upcoming Rivian R1T, Ford F-150 electric and Bollinger B2, so consumers will be looking to Tesla to see how its offering compares.”