Tesla (TSLA -1.38%) CEO Elon Musk shared a number of important updates at the company's annual shareholder meeting on Tuesday. Among other things, the visionary leader confirmed that he plans to remain CEO, said the company would try advertising, and reiterated that he thinks most of its fleet of Tesla vehicles could become autonomous with just a software update. But arguably the most material update for the company's near-term future was a confirmation that Tesla still expects to begin delivering its long-awaited Cybertruck this year. 

Given the company's history of bringing products to market well after Musk's initial go-to-market timeline, some extra reassurance that the Cybertruck will likely hit the streets this year is news that likely has shareholders a bit more bullish.

A long time coming

Tesla's Cybertruck is years in the making -- and it's long overdue. The electric-car company first unveiled the vehicle in late 2019. So if deliveries of the vehicle begin later this year, there will be about four years between the Cybertruck's unveiling and the first deliveries.

The long wait isn't according to plan, Tesla initially expected to start deliveries of the truck in late 2021. But 2021 came and went. Since then, Musk has delayed the start of deliveries several times.

Of course, none of this is new. Tesla has delayed product launches in the past. Its Model X SUV launch, for instance, occurred more than three years after the vehicle was first unveiled. After unveiling the SUV with its falcon wing doors in 2012 and telling fans it expected to start building the vehicle in late 2013 and delivering it in early 2014, the first units weren't delivered until late 2015. Then production ramped up slower than expected, too.

Given this poor history when it comes to living up to its promised timelines for product launches and features, it's good to hear management reaffirming that it still expects Cybertruck to launch this year. Of course, investors also shouldn't be surprised if the launch is delayed into next year. Nevertheless, given how close the planned timeline is for Cybertruck deliveries to finally begin, Musk's confirmation that the vehicle is coming at least suggests deliveries should start by early 2024 at the latest.

A massive and attractive market

It's no secret that the pickup truck market is both large and lucrative. Ford (F -0.59%) F-150 sales in the U.S. were about 650,000 units last year, making the model the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. in 2022. Indeed, Ford's F-Series has been the best-selling truck every year for 46 years straight. 

The attractiveness of the pickup truck market, particularly in the U.S., is not lost on Tesla. That's why Musk said during its annual shareholder meeting yesterday that the company is currently planning to ramp up production of the vehicle to around 250,000 units per year, or possibly even more, depending on how demand fares. 

Considering that the average selling price of Tesla's all-electric pickup truck will likely be significantly higher than the average selling prices of its Model 3 and Model Y, which make up the bulk of the company's current unit sales volume, 250,000 Cybertruck deliveries per year would likely be a boon to both sales and profits for the company, which is expected to deliver around 1.8 million vehicles total this year. 

Of course, Tesla has two major challenges related to the Cybertruck it will have to overcome before investors celebrate too much: It needs to actually start delivering the vehicle and it has to ramp up production to a  meaningful volume -- something that could take over a year from the start of production.