By Chris Katje
One of the most anticipated vehicle launches of all time is set to happen later this year with Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) beginning deliveries of its Cybertruck.
Many experts and Tesla investors see the launch expanding the reach of the electric vehicle company. Here’s what Cathie Wood, CEO and founder of Ark Invest, has to say about the highly anticipated Cybertruck.
Expanding the Market: Third-party estimates call for nearly 2 million pre-orders for the Cybertruck.
Wood told Zenger News the Cybertruck will be incredibly important to Tesla going forward.
“We think Cybertruck is going to expand the truck market, just like the Model 3 has expanded its category,” said Wood to Zenger News.
Wood said people have stretched to buy Tesla Model 3s because “it’s such a good car.”
She also mentioned that regional preferences could be a factor hindering the wider adoption of Tesla vehicles at the moment.
Wood said the F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck from Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) seems to be the preferred electric truck in the Midwest. The Ark Invest CEO added that Ford and General Motors Company (NYSE: GM) both signing on to expand Tesla’s charging network could be a catalyst for Tesla to gain share in the Midwest.
“I’ll bet the same thing happens with the Cybertruck.”
The central regions of the country might not have fully adopted Tesla vehicles, possibly due to a desire for more conveniently located charging stations. Wood recalled a story of a family traveling long distance in an F-150 Lightning who found themselves hungry, afraid and heartbroken due to the lack of nearby charging stations.
Speaking about the partnerships Tesla has signed with Ford and GM, Wood said it’s unclear what kind of licensing revenue or financial impact they could have going forward.
“They’re probably getting a lot of information.”
While speaking with Raznick, Wood said she has not reserved a Cybertruck yet. “I’ll tell you why I haven’t, although I might still.”
Wood said she doesn’t need a big truck or the ability to haul anything, and is hearing from lots of her friends that they are buying a truck for the first time in their lives. “And they don’t need a truck.”
She fondly remembered that her first car was a Ford Mustang, a model she had always admired. The Ark Invest CEO currently owns a Tesla Model 3 and a Tesla Model Y.
“I do think the Cybertruck will expand the market to people like me,” said Wood.
What’s Next: First unveiled at a public event in November 2019, the Cybertruck has faced several production delays and is now set to begin deliveries later this year.
While expectations remain high for the Cybertruck moving forward, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has cautioned on being too optimistic about the model’s financial impact in 2023.
“We do expect production to start, I don’t know, maybe sometime this summer. But I always like to try to downplay the start of production because the start of production is always very slow. It increases exponentially, but it’s always very slow at first. So I wouldn’t put too much thought into start of production,” Musk said. “It’s kind of when volume production actually happens, and that’s next year.”
In 2022, the F-Series pickup truck from Ford was the top-selling vehicle in the U.S. with more than 650,000 units. Truck models from General Motors and Stellantis NV ranked second and third for U.S. vehicles, respectively.
Five of the top 10 bestselling vehicles were pickup trucks in the U.S. in 2022.
Tesla remains a top-five holding in the Ark Innovation ETF (NYSE: ARKK), Ark Next Generation Internet ETF (NYSE: ARKW) and Ark Autonomous Technology & Robotics ETF (BATS: ARKQ).
TSLA Price Action: Tesla shares were trading at $244.99 Friday versus a 52-week trading range of $101.81 to $313.80.
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Edited by Judy J. Rotich and Newsdesk Manager