Elon Musk teases complicated plan for Tesla Cybertruck in China

Credit: Arash Malek/X

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has hinted at the possibility for the newly released Cybertruck to make it over to China as a display, though it could be more difficult to get the electric pickup on the country’s roads.

In response to X user Ray4Tesla highlighting recent rumors that the Cybertruck may be arriving in China as a store display, Musk followed up saying that Tesla could ship some prototype units over to the country. However, Musk also noted that getting the Cybertruck road-legal in China wouldn’t be easy, meaning the truck may only exist in the country as a display for now.

Ray replied to Musk, asking if it would be possible for Tesla to get the Cybertruck classified as a utility or recreational vehicle or an SUV in China instead of as a pickup, since the vehicle has the tonneau cover. Musk didn’t respond, while many others in the thread also questioned whether European markets would get access to Cybertruck displays.

The U.S. remains the world’s largest market for pickup trucks. Road regulations vary from country to country, and the auto markets in much of Europe and Asia are dominated by smaller passenger vehicles. Still, Tesla fans in many countries have requested the Cybertruck, which could be a tall task for the automaker.

Tesla used to let customers in China and Europe make reservations for the Cybertruck, though it halted orders in these markets in 2022, leaving instead the option to “Receive Updates.” Reports in 2021 surfaced showing that the parent company of IDRA, the Italian supplier of Tesla’s Giga Press casting machines, was building a mysterious, 9,000-ton casting machine in China, stoking rumors that it could be used for Cybertruck production.

Since then, these rumors have largely remained unsubstantiated.

While there’s no sign that Cybertruck production will be taking place anywhere beyond Tesla’s U.S. Gigafactory in Austin, Texas, the vehicle making it to showrooms beyond North America has been highly requested. It could even be an important step to generating some extra buzz overseas, if Tesla eventually hopes to debut the truck in those markets.

What are your thoughts? Let me know at zach@teslarati.com, find me on X at @zacharyvisconti, or send your tips to us at tips@teslarati.com.

Zachary Visconti: Zach is a renewable energy reporter who has been covering electric vehicles since 2020. He grew up in Fremont, California, and he currently resides in Colorado. His work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, KRON4 San Francisco, FOX31 Denver and many other publications. When he isn't covering Tesla or other EV companies for Teslarati, you can find him writing and performing music, drinking lots of coffee, or hanging out with his cat, Banks. Reach out to Zach at zach@teslarati.com, or you can find him on X @zacharyvisconti.
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