Tesla CEO Elon Musk said during the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call that the company won’t release any new models this year, and isn’t currently developing a $25,000 car.
In his opening remarks, he said that the continuing chip shortage would make it impossible to release new model vehicles without resulting in fewer total vehicles being delivered.
“If we had introduced say a new car last year, we would — total vehicle output would have been the same because of the constraints — the chips’ constraints particularly.” He continued, “So, we will not be introducing new vehicle levels this year. It would not make any sense.”
Later, in response to a question about a lower-priced Tesla for mainstream consumers, Musk said that project is not currently underway.
“We’re not currently working on the $25,000 car,” Musk said. ” At some point we will. We have enough on our plate right now. Too much on our plate, frankly.”
Musk has repeatedly suggested a $25,000 Tesla is possible. He said in 2018 it would take Tesla about three years to develop — though he didn’t provide a timeline for when it might happen. And in 2020, Musk suggested at the company’s shareholder’s meeting that Tesla would launch such a car within the next three years.
“About 3 years from now, we’re confident we can make a very compelling $25,000 electric vehicle that’s also fully autonomous,” he claimed in 2020. Musk is notorious, however, for being overly optimistic with his predictions.
Instead of rolling out new models, including the Cybertruck and Semi, in 2022, Tesla will focus on its driverless vehicle tech development, and scaling production at its existing factories this year, executives said on Wednesday’s earnings call.