After the successful launch of its e-truck, Tesla has set its sights in introducing a pick-up truck. This was confirmed early this week in a tweet by its CEO Elon Musk. “I promise that we will make a pickup truck right after Model Y,” Musk posted in Twitter. “Have had the core design/engineering elements in my mind for almost five years and I Am dying to build it,” he added.
Musk also stated that adding a pick-up truck to its line-up would make Tesla the first full time electric automaker. The company aims to compete in a wider selection of segments than established internal combustion engine brands such as Toyota, Nissan, Chevrolet and Ford. Musk also added that it would have the similar dimensions to a typical half ton pick-up truck such as the F-150, Ford’s best selling nameplate. “Maybe slightly bigger to account for a really gamechanging (I think) feature I’d like to add,” says Musk, without elaborating on the features of his electric pick-up.
Musk has floated the idea of a Tesla pickup truck in his 2016 “Master Plan: Part Deux” manifesto promised “a new kind of pickup truck.” Prior to the unveiling of the Tesla Semi, Musk responded to a request on Twitter for a light duty pickup by saying: “What if we just made a mini version of the Tesla Semi?” Pickup trucks are driving profits for many automakers.
Another factor which Musk might have considered is the profitability of making a pick-up truck. Automakers have sold more than 2.5 million pickup trucks through the first 11 months of 2017, an increase of 4.6 percent compared with the same period last year, according to industry research firm Autodata Corp. Pickup trucks make up 16.2 percent of all passenger vehicle sales in 2017, up from 15.3 percent in 2016 and 14.6 percent in 2015.
Earlier this year Morgan Stanley Research analyst Adam Jonas wrote that General Motors generates 100 percent of its U.S. profits from large SUVs and pickup trucks. And Tesla is not the only company eager to enter the electric pickup market.
Tesla currently manufacturers the Model S sedan, Model X SUV and Model 3 compact sedan. It aims to begin production on the Model Y compact crossover in a few years. Tesla is also taking deposits on the Tesla Semi Class 8 truck and Roadster supercar.
Workhorse Group Inc. plans to bring its W-15 electric truck to production in late 2018.
Tesla has sold nearly 40,000 vehicles in the U.S. through the first 11 months of 2017, compared with more than 23,000 during the same period last year. The increase is due to increased production of the Model X.
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