Tesla delivers record 308,600 cars in quarter, beating estimate
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Tesla delivers record 308,600 cars in quarter, beating estimate

Tesla delivers record 308,600 cars in quarter, beating estimate

The results pushed Tesla’s total sales for the year to more than 936,000

Tesla delivered 308,600 cars worldwide in the fourth quarter, a record for the electric-vehicle maker and capstone to a year in which the company joined the exclusive $1 trillion market valuation club.

The better-than-expected results posted Sunday pushed Tesla’s total sales for the year to more than 936,000, up about 87 per cent over 2020’s deliveries of just under half a million vehicles. Thirteen analysts surveyed by Bloomberg on average had expected about 263,000 vehicles for the quarter, though some had revised their numbers upward in the final days of December.

Quarterly deliveries are one of the most closely watched indicators for Tesla. They underpin its financial results and are widely seen as a barometer of consumer demand for electric vehicles as a whole because the company has led the charge for battery-powered cars.

The EV market leader’s shares have soared on the back of expectations for continued growth, with the stock up almost 50 per cent in 2021 and a market valuation exceeding $1 trillion – one of only five publicly listed US-based companies to achieve that status. The stock fell 1.3 per cent on December 31 to close at $1,056.78.

Tesla has said repeatedly it expects 50 per cent annual increases in deliveries over a multi-year period. The seventh consecutive quarterly gain comes amid a global semiconductor slump that has crimped production at most other automakers and kept sales in check despite rising demand.

Chief executive officer Elon Musk, who became the world’s richest person last year, has described 2021 as a “supply chain nightmare” even as his company continued to grow deliveries each quarter. It has fared better than other automakers due in part to efforts by its engineers to rewrite software to adapt to whatever chips they could find for other purposes.

Tesla had said its delivery count should be viewed as slightly conservative, and final numbers could vary by 0.5 per cent or more. Production was 305,840 for the quarter and 930,422 for the year.

The company doesn’t break out sales by geography, but the US and China are its largest markets and the bulk of sales were of the Model 3 and Y. Tesla currently makes the Model S, X, 3 and Y at its factory in Fremont, California, and the Model 3 and Y at its plant in Shanghai. In 2022, Tesla will be adding production capacity with two new factories coming online in Austin, Texas and Berlin.

Musk has promised to provide an update on Tesla’s new product plans on the company’s next earnings call.

 

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