Jonas Tells Us Why Cybertruck May Not Be Runaway Success

By Kevin Armstrong
Will the Cybertruck's appeal dwindle after release?
Will the Cybertruck's appeal dwindle after release?

Cybertruck hype reached feverish levels after Investor Day. The futuristic vehicle was on display and even took some lucky people for a test drive. However, wherever there is a parade, there will surely be rain. So, Morgan Stanley's managing director advises staff to manage expectations for clients excited about investing in Tesla.

Adam Jonas, who attended Investor Day, listed five reasons why Cybertruck may not be the vehicle Elon Musk and the Tesla team dream it will be. Instead, he thinks it will be a financial "side-show," a "cultural/zeitgeist," and an "enthusiast/cult car." Let's hear him out. He is considered a Tesla Bull, despite a quick Google search showing he's been writing a bear case for Tesla for years.

Things Have Changed for Tesla

His first point is that Tesla was a different company in 2019 when Cybertruck was unveiled. When you adjust for the multiple stock splits, Tesla is worth ten times more today. He believes the company's values and goals have changed since 2019.

Tesla has changed significantly in the past four years, and the company is focused on launching a more affordable vehicle. Musk laid out his plan for a more sustainable energy future that included getting more people into electric cars, a goal that can only be achieved if those cars are affordable for more people. Unfortunately, Cybertruck is unlikely to be under the title: affordable.

How Far Can Unique Go?

The investor's next point is calling the Cybertruck the "ultimate avant-garde vehicle." He believes that the unique aspects of Cybertruck will lose some appeal when there are several on the road.

Okay, fair point. However, how many white Teslas do you see on the road today? No one seems to mind driving the same color Model 3 and Model Y. Besides, if someone is concerned about losing that "indescribable something," as Jonas puts it, they can get a wrap. Also, with rumors that the next platform may use Cybertruck's stainless steel exterior, the company doesn't seem concerned about too many stainless steel vehicles.

Restrict Cybertruck Production

To that point, the Morgan Stanley employee wonders if Tesla should restrict the production of Cybertruck. He forecasts that the production volume could ramp up to 100,000 units per year, which means it will be 2030 by the time 500,000 are on the street. He ponders if the company should limit production to 420,699 Cybertrucks.

This makes sense if his production figures are close to reality. It could take decades to fill the millions of Cybertruck orders. Look at how much things have changed in the four years since it was announced; imagine the changes that could happen before filling all those orders. These orders may fall under the same category as the long-awaited Roadster 2.0.

Price Point Concerns

In his next point, Jonas says the employee who gave him a Cybertruck ride said the vehicle weighed 7,000 pounds, equivalent to a Chevy Silverado 3500HD. That has Jonas thinking the price will be significantly higher than the first announced $39,900.

At this point, anyone who thinks they will get a Cybertruck for forty grand better forfeit their reservation now. But Jonas's point is relevant: if the price comes in too high, the waitlist will be drastically reduced by the many who put in a reservation for a $39,900 truck.

Not a Competitor for Traditional Trucks

Based on that point, Jonas doesn't think the Cybertruck he saw and rode in "poses a significant threat to the established pickup truck market."

He could be right. It will be a difficult sell if it's big, heavy, and considerably expensive. We should also note that just days before this letter to Morgan Stanley staff, Jonas dropped Tesla as his preferred U.S.-listed automaker and now backs Ferrari NV. Yes, that Ferrari, the builder of supercars.

If you are on the waiting list for a Cybertruck, it's worth considering the points Jonas has raised. However, while Cybertruck has generated significant hype and excitement, it is essential to account for the potential challenges and limitations it may face in the market. With Tesla's changing values and goals, the Cybertruck's unique design, uncertain price point, and limited production, it remains to be seen whether it will be the ultimate game-changer in the pickup truck market. But you'll have plenty of time to decide if you want to take delivery of your Cybertruck as limited production starts this summer, with a ramp-up beginning next year.

Tesla Sales Forecasted to Surpass 5% Market Share, Tops in Luxury

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla is expected to top luxury vehicle sales
Tesla is expected to top luxury vehicle sales
Kelley Blue Book

Cox Automotive, the world's largest automotive services and technology provider, has released a forecast predicting that Tesla will lead the luxury market in Q1 2023 with sales of 180,000 units, a gain of nearly 40% from Q1 2022. As a result, Tesla is expected to post solid sales gains and surpass a market share of 5% for the first time. This marks a significant achievement for the electric car maker as it continues to gain market share in the luxury car market.

Improved Inventory and Lowered Prices to Spark Demand

By far, Tesla will be the top luxury-vehicle seller in the U.S. in Q1, with sales more than double that of BMW or Mercedes. This impressive performance is likely due to Tesla's innovative technology, sleek designs, and rising brand recognition.

Tesla's success in Q1 2023 is expected to be primarily driven by improved inventory levels and lowered prices. According to Cox Automotive, new-vehicle inventory levels have significantly improved from Q1 2022, which has helped stimulate sales despite elevated prices and high auto loan rates. Tesla also lowered its prices in the first quarter to spark demand.

Tesla's Record Quarter

Tesla's Q1 2023 sales are expected to reach 180,000, a record quarter for the company in the U.S. In addition, the company's growth trajectory continues to outpace its competitors, with Tesla's market share forecasted to surpass 5% for the first time. This puts Tesla on track to achieve its goal of selling 1 million electric vehicles per year, an ambitious target the company has set for itself.

Strong Outlook for Tesla

Cox Automotive's forecast is good news for Tesla investors and enthusiasts. The electric car maker has been expanding its production capacity to meet the rising vehicle demand. Tesla's Model Y, launched in 2020, has been a hit with customers, with the company ramping up production to meet the high demand. Tesla also plans to launch the Cybertruck, its first all-electric pickup truck, in 2022.

As more consumers look to switch to electric vehicles to reduce their carbon footprint, Tesla's growth prospects are expected to remain strong. The company's continued innovation in the electric car space and aggressive expansion plans could help it solidify its position as a leader in the automotive industry.

Other Key Take Aways from Cox

The release suggests a positive surprise for U.S. auto sales in Q1 2023. Still, supply constraints and affordability issues are expected to put a ceiling on what's possible for the rest of the year. Despite these challenges, Tesla's continued growth trajectory and strong performance in the luxury market are promising signs for the electric car maker.

General Motors is expected to finish Q1 as the top seller of new vehicles in the U.S., with sales volume forecasted to increase by over 15% year over year to reach 587,000 units. However, sales will drop from Q4 2022 when GM's volume hits 618,692.

The Bottleneck Has Passed, but Prices Are Too High

New-vehicle inventory levels have significantly improved from Q1 2022, up roughly 70% from the volume recorded in the early months of 2022. This has helped stimulate sales despite elevated prices and high auto loan rates.

Fleet sales for the entire year of 2023 are forecasted at 2.2 million, up 23% from 2022, when 1.8 million units were sold to commercial buyers.

Cox Automotive has adjusted its full-year new-vehicle sales forecast to 14.2 million, an increase of nearly 3% from 2022.

Elevated prices and average auto loan rates above 8% are expected to hold back new-vehicle sales for the rest of the year. The typical new-vehicle loan payment was more than $750 a month in Q1, which is out of reach for many households.

Tesla's sales forecasted to surpass 5% market share in Q1 2023 is a significant milestone for the electric car maker. Tesla's success in the luxury market is due to its innovative technology, sleek designs, and raising brand recognition. In addition, the company's improved inventory levels and lowered prices have helped stimulate sales despite elevated prices and high auto loan rates. With a record quarter forecasted for Q1 2023, Tesla's outlook remains strong, and the company continues to lead the charge in the electric car market.

Tesla Will Display the Vehicle's Navigation Route in the Tesla App

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla is updating its app to show the vehicle's planned path to its destination
Tesla is updating its app to show the vehicle's planned path to its destination
Not a Tesla App

Tesla is consistently working to improve its mobile app experience for users, and now they're adding another new feature. Building on the features unveiled last year, Tesla is now adding the ability to view the route the vehicle is taking toward its destination. Thanks to Max for the tip!

Navigation Path

When using GPS navigation, the app directly displays the driver's destination, distance, and estimated arrival time (ETA) on the main screen. By tapping into the navigation section, users can access a map that shows the vehicle's location, nearby Superchargers, and destination details. The app also displays the vehicle's expected state of charge upon arrival at the destination, providing greater transparency for owners regarding battery consumption. The one missing piece was the suggested route the vehicle is taking to reach its destination. That is now being added to the app and is available for select users.

In the last Tesla app update, v4.19, the company introduced a new API called "nav route." This API looked to go unused at first, but this new feature appears to leverage this API to display the path the vehicle will take, much like the in-car navigation system.

Building on Latest Update

The October 2022 update brought a host of additional features to the Tesla mobile app, enhancing convenience for its users. For instance, the app now shows more information about the media playing in the vehicle, such as song title, artist, and destination details.

Energy Enhancement

The automaker rolled out major revisions to its Energy app in its cars, which displays the battery's state of charge upon departure and arrival, as well as the main causes of battery drain. Tesla started bringing this functionality to the app for older Model S and Model X vehicles, and will hopefully soon expand it to other vehicles.

The app will provide a detailed breakdown of energy usage for various features, such as air conditioning, driving, battery conditioning, elevation, and other components like charging mobile devices, onboard computers, lights, and the audio system.

As Tesla continues to hire additional app developers, users can anticipate further updates and improvements to the mobile app, offering more helpful features and enhancing the overall user experience.

We anticipate that users will be required to have Tesla app version 4.19 and Tesla's car version 2023.6 in order to use this new app feature.

Latest Tesla Update

Confirmed by Elon

Take a look at features that Elon Musk has said will be coming soon.


Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.


Find out how to become a sponsor and have your site listed here.

Although we share official Tesla release notes, we are not affiliated with Tesla Motors. We are Tesla fans and supporters.

Latest Tesla Update

Confirmed by Elon

Take a look at features that Elon Musk has said will be coming soon.


Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.