Elon Musk promises Tesla pickup that would challenge Ford F-150

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Elon Musk said Tuesday that Tesla Inc. would produce a long-awaited electric pickup truck in the coming years that would challenge Ford.

On Twitter, the Tesla co-founder and chief executive opened the door to questions on what the electric-car company could do to improve.

“Need an electric pickup truck please,” the Vancouver Seed Bank — a Canadian medical marijuana dispensary — tweeted right off the bat.

“I promise that we will make a pickup truck right after Model Y. Have had the core design/engineering elements in my mind for almost 5 years,” Musk replied. “Am dying to build it.”

The Model Y compact SUV is expected to start production in 2019, opening the door to the as-yet-unnamed pickup in 2020.

Musk said the pickup’s size would be comparable to, or “slightly bigger” than, Ford’s flagship F-150 pickup, “to account for a really gamechanging (I think) feature I’d like to add.” He didn’t say what that feature was.

Pickup sales are a huge revenue source for Ford Motor Co.












F, +0.16%










  and General Motors Co.












GM, -0.52%










 , and the F-150 is the best-selling truck in the U.S.

Last year, Musk’s updated “master plan” called for a pickup, and earlier this year he said one could be unveiled within the next two years. He teased it again when unveiling the Tesla Semi in September.

While Musk’s comments Tuesday were hailed by fans, analysts were wary. “Seems like Tesla is biting off a lot and should focus to master the Model 3 first,” Autotrader analyst Michelle Krebs told the Wall Street Journal.

Tesla has a long history of grand promises that fall short in reality. In November, the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company said it would take months longer than anticipated to reach its goal of producing 5,000 Model S sedans per week, as it posted its worst quarter ever.

On other subjects, Musk promised an improved navigation system, a major in-car browser upgrade and updates to the Autopilot system in the coming months.

Tesla shares












TSLA, -2.43%










  rose slightly in after-hours trading Tuesday, after dropping 2.4% during the regular session. Tesla stock is up 48% year to date, compared to the S&P 500’s












SPX, -0.11%










  20% gain.





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