A Cybertruck build slot is a reservation for a Tesla Cybertruck, the futuristic electric pickup truck that was unveiled by Elon Musk in 2019. The Cybertruck is expected to start production in late 2023 or early 2024, but Tesla has already received over two million pre-orders from customers who paid a $100 refundable deposit to secure their place in line.
However, some customers who have a low-VIN (vehicle identification number) build slot, meaning they will be among the first to receive their Cybertruck, have decided to sell or auction their reservation to the highest bidder. This is possible because Tesla allows customers to transfer their build slot to another person, as long as they notify the company and provide the necessary information.
Why did someone pay $400,000 for a Cybertruck build slot?
On October 9, 2023, the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles held its 29th annual gala, a fundraising event that featured a live auction of various automotive items and experiences. One of the items on the auction block was a low-VIN Tesla Cybertruck build slot, donated by an anonymous benefactor.
The bidding started at $50,000 and quickly escalated to $400,000, which was the final hammer price. The winner of the auction will be able to choose the configuration and options of their Cybertruck, and will receive it ahead of most other customers. The proceeds from the auction will go to support the museum’s educational programs and exhibits.
The reason why someone paid such a high price for a Cybertruck build slot is not clear, but it could be motivated by several factors. Some possible reasons are:
- The buyer is a fan of Tesla and wants to own one of the first Cybertrucks ever made.
- The buyer is an investor or collector who sees the Cybertruck as a potential future classic or a valuable asset.
- The buyer is a philanthropist who wants to support the museum and its mission.
- The buyer is a speculator who hopes to resell the Cybertruck at a higher price later.
How does this compare to other Cybertruck build slot sales?
This is not the first time that a Cybertruck build slot has been sold or auctioned for a high price. In fact, there is a website called Cybertrucks For Sale that lists various offers and requests for Cybertruck build slots from different sellers and buyers. According to the website, some of the highest prices paid for a Cybertruck build slot are:
- $250,000 for a tri-motor AWD model with full self-driving capability in June 2023.
- $200,000 for a tri-motor AWD model with full self-driving capability in April 2023.
- $150,000 for a dual-motor AWD model with full self-driving capability in March 2023.
However, these prices are based on private transactions that are not verified by any official source. Therefore, they should be taken with a grain of salt. The auction at the Petersen Museum is likely the most reliable and publicized sale of a Cybertruck build slot so far.
What are the challenges and risks of buying a Cybertruck build slot?
Buying a Cybertruck build slot may seem like an attractive opportunity for some people, but it also comes with some challenges and risks. Some of them are:
- The Cybertruck is still in development and has not been finalized or tested by regulators. Therefore, there is no guarantee that it will meet the expectations or specifications promised by Tesla.
- The production and delivery timeline of the Cybertruck is uncertain and subject to delays or changes. Therefore, there is no guarantee that the buyer will receive their Cybertruck within the expected time frame or order.
- The transfer of the Cybertruck build slot may involve legal and administrative complications or fees. Therefore, the buyer and seller should consult with Tesla and their respective lawyers before completing the transaction.
- The resale value of the Cybertruck may fluctuate depending on the market demand and supply, as well as the performance and reputation of the vehicle. Therefore, there is no guarantee that the buyer will be able to sell their Cybertruck at a profit or even break even.