Tesla, the world’s leading electric car company, on Saturday reported a steep increase in worldwide sales in the first three months of the year as it overcame supply chain problems and moved closer to production levels on a par with established luxury carmakers like BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
Tesla said it delivered 310,000 vehicles from January through March, up from 185,000 cars during the same period in 2021, roughly in line with Wall Street’s expectations. This is in contrast to major carmakers like General Motors or Toyota, who reported huge sales declines on Friday due to shortages.
The increase in the first quarter builds on Tesla’s momentum from last year, when it nearly doubled sales, to just short of 1 million cars, and overtook Volvo and Subaru. Because of its software expertise, Tesla was able to substitute for those that were not available because it has been able to deal with an industry-wide shortage of computer chips.
The first-quarter sales were “a positive step in the right direction for the next step of the Tesla growth,” Daniel Ives and John Katsingris of Wedbush Securities said in a note on Saturday, though they acknowledged that some analysts had expected more.
Tesla said Saturday that it was able to achieve the sales increase “despite ongoing supply chain challenges and factory shutdowns.” Tesla has had to suspend production at its operation in Shanghai several times because of lockdowns mandated by the local government.
Tesla’s first-quarter sales were almost unchanged from the fourth quarter of 2021, when it delivered 309,000 vehicles. Nearly all of the volume was accounted for by Model Y and Model 3 sedans.
Analysts believe Tesla could sell 2,000,000 vehicles by 2022, now that a factory in Berlin is producing the Model Y for European clients. This challenger to the German carmakers that dominate luxury markets. Tesla is the largest carmaker that sells electric vehicles, and battery-powered vehicles are growing at a faster rate than any other vehicle. These cars may see increased sales as gasoline prices rise and stay high. Tesla’s $1 trillion market valuation is a sign that, as far as Wall Street is concerned, it is on track to dominate the industry.
The market for electric cars is getting more competitive as more established carmakers offer battery-powered models that appeal to buyers like the Ford Mustang Mach E and Volkswagen ID. If, as industry executives believe, the semiconductor shortage will ease later in 2018, traditional automakers could start to gain a larger share.
The company announced Saturday that Tesla would disclose its profit and revenue figures by April 20.
Source: NY Times