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Tesla’s Cybertruck Hits The Market With A Higher Price Tag And Plenty Of Challenges

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk presided over the company’s long-awaited Cybertruck delivery, which was first shown four years ago. While there was little new information since the original presentation, Tesla’s website was updated with a new price.

The event had the typical Musk flash, with lofty predictions about “the future” and visuals of Cybertrucks traveling across the ice, but it offered very little new information. Even the price on Tesla’s website, which required a $250 deposit to place an order, did not contain standard car-buying experiences, such as selecting options. There was no mention of practicalities like front trunk capacity or anything beyond the company’s current estimate of a 250-mile range.

However, the website did mention that the top-of-the-line model would be known as the “Cyberbeast.”

The Tesla Cybertruck starts at $60,990 before federal tax credits, over $20,000 more than the base model initially proposed at the vehicle’s introduction in 2019. The business originally stated that the Cybertruck would cost less than $40,000, but a pandemic and subsequent severe inflation prompted the corporation to change its mind.

Even then, it would only be “available in 2025,” according to the Tesla website.

If you want one in 2024, expect to pay about $80,000.

By itself, the Cybertruck enters an electric vehicle market packed with vehicles in the same price range. It’s not only pickups but also SUVs. It’s an issue that’s already dampening sales of some electric vehicles, particularly in the luxury market, as automakers struggle to establish their electric production processes.

He also bragged about the Cybertruck’s “sports-car-like” capability, showing a video of it hauling a Porsche 911 on a trailer while racing a Porsche 911 down a drag strip. Honestly, Porsche 911 sports cars aren’t sold on raw acceleration. Of course, neither is a pickup truck, so it’s unclear how big of a selling point that will be.

cybertruck

Tesla’s Cybertruck Hits The Market With A Higher Price Tag And Plenty Of Challenges

However, Tesla’s website only shows that acceleration figure for the Cyberbeast version of the truck, which costs over $100,000. The truck’s 11,000-pound towing capacity also noted in the presentation, is shown exclusively in the $80,000 or $100,000 all-wheel-drive variants.

According to Brian Moody, executive editor of Kelley Blue Book, the truck’s price range may be fine compared to other high-end trucks on the market. The pricing range that Tesla can provide is limited.

“Because Tesla has basically one version of the truck with some minor modifications, they don’t have the advantage of having a very low-price truck as well as a very high and heavy-duty, super-capable truck,” Moody wrote in an e-mail.

According to Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives, who is bullish on Tesla, the business has around 2 million bookings for the Cybertruck. He predicted that just 30% to 40% of those reservations would be turned into sales. The larger issue may be the production issues that Musk says the firm is experiencing as it attempts to ramp up vehicle manufacturing, especially with competition from electric pickups from Ford, GM, and Rivian.

“It’s a Herculean task to ramp production, but Tesla has been here before,” he said, referring to prior product launches such as the Model 3 sedan. However, he warned that “it’s a much more complex market for them to navigate.”

The Cybertruck, which resembled a high-end kitchen appliance when it was initially shown in 2019, looked like nothing else on the road, and it still does. The purpose of its strange, angular all-metal appearance was to stand out: Musk sought to make a statement with something that wasn’t just another large truck.

However, the Cybertruck’s qualities, such as power and range, do not stand out. The market has transformed during Tesla’s development and delays over the last four years. Even before the first one rolls into a customer’s driveway, Tesla’s flashy new pickup is significantly more ordinary beneath its gleaming veneer.

Electric motors can give a lot of towing and hauling power, and the truck’s basic size allows for many batteries and a long range. Tesla is one of many automakers to recognize this opportunity.

cybertruck

Even then, it would only be “available in 2025,” according to the Tesla website.

Ford began selling the F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck four years ago, and Rivian R1T pickups have become familiar sights on American roadways. General Motors just began manufacture of the Chevrolet Silverado EV electric truck. Stellantis’ Ram 1500 Rev electric vehicle will also be available in late 2024.

This isn’t the same setting as it was four years ago, and the Cybertruck’s capabilities don’t look as impressive as they did. Many of these other trucks have capabilities that rival, and in some cases even outperform, Tesla’s.

Musk has also frequently stated how tough it is to construct the Cybertruck due to its unconventional design.

The truck is built of unpainted stainless steel, a material not commonly utilized for cars since the durability of the material that Musk has touted makes it difficult to build with and fix. The massive stamping machines commonly employed in auto manufacturing to quickly bend metal into shape struggle with stainless steel.

It also features a unibody construction rather than a separate body and chassis like most large pickups. Unibody structure is common in crossover SUVs and compact, light pickups such as the Ford Maverick. Body-on-frame designs are commonly used for heavy-duty vehicles due to their strength and flexibility for towing huge loads.

“There will be enormous challenges in reaching volume production with the Cybertuck and making the Cybertruck cash flow positive,” Musk remarked recently during an investor call.

cybertruck

Musk has also frequently stated how tough it is to construct the Cybertruck due to its unconventional design.

The Cybertruck’s total size could be an advantage. According to Tesla, the Cybertruck is less than 19 feet long, slightly shorter than conventional full-size trucks. However, Tesla boasts that its cargo bed, at over six feet long, is slightly longer than typical.

However, the Cybertruck may forego front storage in exchange for its small body length. It lacks the extended hood of other pickups, notably electric pickups from Ford and GM. This could imply that the Tesla has less “frunk” – or front trunk – space. Ample functional front room, in particular, has been a major selling factor for the Ford truck.

The wedge shape of the vehicle, where the sides of the cargo bed meet the roof, may also make access to the bed from the sides difficult. Pickup drivers frequently reach over the sides to load and unload objects close to the cab.

The payload capacity of the Cybertruck, or the amount of weight it can carry in its cargo bed, is also slightly higher than competitors currently in production. The Ford F-150 Lightning can tow up to 2,200 pounds. However, the Ram 1500 Rev will be able to haul up to 2,700 pounds, which is more than the Cybertruck.

SOURCE – (BBC)

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Business

Walmart To Acquire Smart TV Maker Vizio For $2.3 Billion In Bid To Boost Its Advertising Business

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Walmart is paying $2.3 billion for smart TV maker Vizio to boost its quickly growing advertising business and compete with Amazon.

If the purchase is completed, Walmart will gain access to Vizio’s SmartCast operating system, allowing the retail juggernaut to offer its suppliers the opportunity to display adverts on streaming devices.

Walmart Connect, which provides marketers with access to Walmart’s large consumer base, has helped the company grow its media and advertising business. Walmart reported on Tuesday that its global advertising business increased by nearly 28% to $3.4 billion last year.

The developments follow Amazon’s announcement last month that it will begin charging Prime members $2.99 per month to keep their films and TV series ad-free, in addition to the $14.99 per month or $139 per year Prime price.

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What does Walmart stand to gain from a television manufacturer?

Vizio’s SmartCast technology has 18 million active accounts and has increased 400% since 2018. The firms claim that Vizio’s platform has over 500 direct advertisers and that ads now account for most of the company’s gross profit.

In recent years, makers of streaming gear, such as Roku and Vizio, have moved their focus to advertising revenue. Vizio established its Vizio Ads business unit in 2019, claiming to be “one of the few connected TV companies with the device penetration, consumer opt-in, and infrastructure to deliver meaningful scale.”

Walmart saw Vizio’s growing consumer base and grabbed the opportunity to develop its Walmart Connect business.

“We believe the combination of these two businesses would be impactful as we redefine the intersection of retail and entertainment,” said Seth Dallaire, executive vice president and chief revenue officer at Walmart U.S.

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Who else is ramping up screen advertising?

Other large streamers, such as Netflix and Disney, have embraced the dual model, allowing them to generate revenue from commercials while simultaneously allowing customers to opt-out for a higher charge.

However, in the ever-changing streaming industry, whether consumers are prepared to pay more to see fewer commercials when they already pay subscription fees, frequently for numerous providers, remains to be seen. Many consumers “cut the cord” and ditched cable TV because they were frustrated with their ever-increasing fees.

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How did the companies’ shares fare?

Vizio stock rose about 15% in the afternoon, reaching $10.96 per share.

Walmart’s stock jumped 3.1% to $175.66 per share after exceeding Wall Street’s expectations with its sales and profit on Tuesday.

Roku, one of Vizio’s primary competitors, saw its stock drop 6.4% by midday.

SOURCE – (AP)

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Business

Sacked Twitter Staff In Ghana Finally Get Pay-Off

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X, then known as Twitter, has finally paid out the employees it fired from its African offices more than a year ago, according to the agency that represents them.

Most had just been with the social media network in Ghana’s capital, Accra, for a few months before they were let go in November 2022.

They had threatened to sue X for failing to pay the redundancy money they said they were promised.

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Sacked Twitter Staff In Ghana Finally Get Pay-Off

The corporation has yet to respond.

X previously stated that it had paid ex-employees in full.

Elon Musk, who took over the corporation in 2022, launched a large global workforce layoff, dismissing almost 6,000 individuals. He said he was losing more than $4 million (£3.5 million) daily.

The African contingent, which numbered fewer than 20, had only recently relocated to X’s new office in

Accra after eight months of working from home during the COVID-19 outbreak.

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Sacked Twitter Staff In Ghana Finally Get Pay-Off

Agency Seven, the organisation providing legal representation to the workforce, stated that it had successfully obtained a redundancy settlement and repatriation fees for foreign employees but did not indicate the payout size.

“They are very pleased to finally be able to get their due, put this behind them, and look forward to the future,” Agency Seven Seven spokesperson Carla Olympio told the BBC.

Last year, terminated employees told the BBC that their treatment at X had impacted their mental health and money.

“It’s difficult when it’s the world’s richest man owing you money and closure,” one of them stated.

They claimed they were initially assured that they would be paid to work for one more month while their contracts were being terminated. However, they were instantly shut out of their emails, and no more wage payments were issued.

Since then, the crew has reported a difficult battle for compensation.

Some had migrated from adjacent nations, such as Nigeria. Their contract was terminated, leaving them and their families stuck in Ghana.

In a rare interview with the BBC last April, Mr Musk revealed that the social media powerhouse had 1,500 staff, down from just under 8,000 when he bought the company.

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Sacked Twitter Staff In Ghana Finally Get Pay-Off

When the news of Mr Musk’s extreme workforce reduction broke, he tweeted that laid-off employees received three months’ severance compensation.

However, staff members in the Africa office claim they still need this.

According to Agency Seven Seven, X only started negotiating with the terminated African staff after the BBC publicised the news.

Last year, ex-employees filed a complaint in a California court accusing X of failing to pay at least $500 million in promised severance benefits.

SOURCE – (BBC)

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TikTok Faces European Union Scrutiny For Possible Breaches Of Strict New Digital Rulebook

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Why Buying TikTok Views is the Best Way to Maximize Followers

LONDON — The European Union announced Monday that it is investigating whether TikTok violated the bloc’s harsh new digital standards for cleaning up social media and keeping internet users secure.

The European Commission, the EU’s executive department, said it has “opened formal proceedings to assess” whether TikTok violated the Digital Services Act, which went into effect last year.

The DSA is a comprehensive collection of regulations to keep internet users safe online, including measures to make it easy to flag dangerous or unlawful content such as hate speech, provide users with alternatives to algorithmic suggestions, and prohibit adverts targeting children.

tiktok

TikTok Faces European Union Scrutiny For Possible Breaches Of Strict New Digital Rulebook

The commission is looking at whether TikTok is doing enough to address “systemic risks” posed by its design, such as “algorithmic systems” that may promote “behavioural addictions.” It added measures such as age verification software to prevent children from accessing “inappropriate content” may not be “reasonable, proportionate, and effective.”

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TikTok Faces European Union Scrutiny For Possible Breaches Of Strict New Digital Rulebook

“Minor protection is the DSA’s primary enforcement priority. TikTok, as a platform that reaches millions of children and teens, must completely comply with the DSA and plays an important role in the protection of minors online,” said Thierry Breton, the EU’s internal market commissioner, in a news statement. “We are launching this formal infringement proceeding today to ensure that proportionate action is taken to protect the physical and emotional well-being of young Europeans.”

TikTok has “pioneered features and settings to protect teens and keep under 13s off the platform, issues the whole industry is grappling with,” the business stated in a statement. “We’ll continue to work with experts and industry to keep young people on TikTok safe, and look forward to now having the opportunity to explain this work in detail to the Commission.”

The commission also looks into TikTok’s minor privacy policies, ad transparency, and whether researchers can access data.

tiktok

TikTok Faces European Union Scrutiny For Possible Breaches Of Strict New Digital Rulebook

The EU has designated nearly two dozen of the largest internet and social media companies, including TikTok, deserving the most intense scrutiny under the DSA and heavy fines if they fail to comply. The bloc is already probing Elon Musk’s X, formerly known as Twitter, for breaches such as failure to control the dissemination of illicit content.

SOURCE – (AP)

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