The Tesla Cybertruck has been delayed, and that plays into hands of the Ford F-150

The futuristic Tesla Cybertruck driving on a racetrack in the desert
(Image credit: Tesla)

Another day, another delay in the automotive world, this time from Tesla. The all-electric automaker has quietly shuffled the production of its polarizing Cybertruck into 2022. 

Initial expectations for volume deliveries weren't hopeful for a massive 2021 rollout, but this change moves the whole timeline back further than originally thought.

 Tesla did not make an official announcement on the shift, but heading to the Cybertruck configuration tool on the company website yields a vital tidbit. 

After choosing the model and opting for or against the available "full self-driving" feature, prospective buyers are required to place a $100 fully-refundable deposit. 

Before hitting the payment button, however, there's a bit of fine print: "You will be able to complete your configuration as production nears in 2022." 

That's later than initially announced, though we did expect single-motor versions of the truck to arrive sometime after the initial rollout of the higher-spec models.

The side-profile of the futuristic Tesla Cybertruck sitting in a warehouse

(Image credit: Tesla)

Analysis: no surprise

The delay comes as no surprise to most. In January of this year, Tesla CEO Elon Musk reported that there would be a few deliveries of the Cybertruck in 2021, but volume production would not start in earnest until 2022. 

Beyond Musk's early skepticism on the vehicle's production timetable, quite a bit has transpired in the auto industry since that time. 

A massive and brutal microchip shortage has crippled production lines around the globe, and the ongoing pandemic carries its own challenges relating to logistics, staffing, and the supply chain.

Regardless of the timing, it's clear Tesla fans are excited about the Cybertruck. The automaker has collected north of one million reservations for the vehicle in the time since its debut, so even if a fraction of those people moves forward with an actual order, the truck will be a hit. 

That said, the timing of its production may have more of an impact on its initial sales than anything else. 

If moved to 2022, the Tesla will have to face off against the Ford F-150 Lightning, the Rivian R1T, and the GMC Hummer EV later on. Rivian is an extremely well-funded startup automaker, but Ford and General Motors have nearly unlimited funds in their respective war chests to make a dent in the EV market.

This latest delay calls into questions reports from last week which suggested we could see a cheaper Tesla (aka Model 2) arrive sooner than expected, but this may now be more wishful thinking rather than reality.

Chris Teague
Freelance Contributor

After working in the technology and software industry for several years, Chris began writing as a way to help people outside of that world understand the sometimes very technical work that goes on behind the scenes. With a lifelong love of all things automotive, Chris turned his attention to writing new vehicle reviews, detailing industry trends, and breaking news. Along the way, he earned an MBA with a focus on data analysis that has helped him gain a strong understanding of why the auto industry’s biggest companies make the decisions they do.