Tesla keen to build smaller bakkie, but not any time soon

By Motoring Staff Time of article published Nov 26, 2019

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PALO ALTO, CALIFORNIA - While the dust settles following the unveiling of Tesla’s strange new Cybertruck, fans are now starting to speculate about what might be next on the electric car company’s radar. 

Will there be a single-cab version? Will Tesla build a smaller bakkie?

There actually seems to be a positive answer to the latter question, after Twitter user @S_Padival asked Elon Musk: “When you solve the manufacturing process, can you please also make a smaller version of the #Cybertruck?” 

Musk responded to that with “Long term, it probably makes sense to build a smaller Cybertruck too.” This means a compact bakkie is certainly on the company’s wishlist, but exactly when it will have the capacity to expand its line-up remains to be seen. It certainly won’t happen any time soon, with Musk also confirming on the social media platform that the Cybertruck would be the “last product reveal for a while”.

Although things are looking up for Tesla, following its unexpected profit in the third quarter brought on by record deliveries, cost cuts and improved production schedules, it is still a small company that needs to find  money to invest in increasing its production capacity. The company had a long struggle ramping up production of the Model 3 sedan to meet demand, although it remains to be seen whether the same problems will persist when Tesla launches the Cybertruck in 2021. As it stands, Musk says the company has received over 200 000 deposits of $100 for the new bakkie.

But assuming that Tesla does get into the groove with production capacities, it is very likely that a smaller bakkie will follow towards the mid-2020s. But just how small it will be remains to be seen.

The Cybertruck is said to be the size of a Ford F-150, so it’s logical to assume that a more compact version would probably be closer in size to the Ranger, but it’s not impossible that the company might look towards something even smaller, given that Ford and GM are working on new compact bakkies, the former to be based on the Focus, and it’s certainly plausible that electric versions could follow suit.

For now though, the Tesla Cybertruck, weird looks and all, is looking to grab a decent share of the lucrative pick-up market in the US, and it’s credentials certainly seem impressive, with the top model claiming a range of over 800km between charges as well as a towing capacity of up to 6350kg and a 0-96km/h sprint time of just 2.9 seconds. Its dent-resistant stainless steel body will also prove attractive in a market where toughness and durability are key considerations.

IOL Motoring

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