Tesla reported on Sunday that he delivered 936,000 cars in 2021, an increase of 87% over the previous year, despite the shortage of computer chips that disrupted automotive production around the world.
In the fourth quarter alone, the company delivered more than 308,000 vehicles, an increase of 71% from the previous year’s quarter. The overwhelming share of deliveries was for the Model 3 sedan and the Model Y hatchback. Wall Street analysts expected deliveries of about 266,000 cars in the fourth quarter and about 855,000 for the year.
“It’s hard to dig into the numbers,” wrote Daniel Ives, analyst at Wedbush Securities, in a note to investors. “While there are many competitors in the electric vehicle arena, Tesla continues to dominate the market share, as evidenced again this quarter. “
Tesla increased sales despite a global shortage of computer chips, which serve as the brains of a variety of electronics, including motor controllers and touch screens. The shortage has forced most automakers to idle some factories for weeks and prevented them from producing as many vehicles as they expected.
In July, Tesla chief executive Elon Musk said his company was overcoming the shortage by switching to more readily available chip types and writing new instructions, or firmware, to be put into the chip. Tesla can make such a change because the components in its cars are designed to be controlled largely by software.
Understanding the supply chain crisis
Tesla does not break down its deliveries by country. Much of its recent growth has been driven by sales in Europe and China.
The jump in shipments capped a momentous year in which Tesla’s share price and earnings soared. She has also worked on opening factories near Austin, Texas, as well as Berlin, in hopes of maintaining rapid growth.
In October, Tesla’s market value topped $ 1 trillion for the first time, making it more valuable than General Motors, Ford Motor, Toyota, Volkswagen, Stellantis, BMW and several other automakers combined.
Tesla’s stock on Friday closed at $ 1,056.78, down from just under $ 700 at the end of 2020. The stock’s rise was fueled by increased sales and profits. In the third quarter, the company earned $ 1.6 billion, more than double its profits for all of 2020, its first profitable year.
With stocks at dizzying heights, Mr. Musk has started selling large chunks of his stock, in part to cover taxes, after polling his Twitter followers. Several times he said he was done selling, but continued.
In total, Mr. Musk sold over $ 16 billion in Tesla shares. The transactions involved the exercise of 22.8 million options granted to Mr. Musk as part of his compensation and bonuses.
Tesla has said it expects deliveries to increase by about 50% per year over the next several years, and is counting on output from its factories in Austin and Berlin to meet its target. Both factories are expected to start producing Model Y hatchbacks soon.
At the same time, the quality of Tesla products has remained uneven. On Thursday, the company told federal regulators it plans to recall more than 475,000 cars for two separate flaws that could affect safety – a misaligned latch on the front hood, which could allow the hood to swing open in such a way. unexpected, and the wiring of the reversing camera which can be damaged by opening and closing the trunk. A day later, vehicles in China were also recalled.
How the supply chain crisis unfolded
The pandemic triggered the problem. The highly complex and interconnected global supply chain is in upheaval. Much of the crisis can be attributed to the Covid-19 epidemic, which has triggered an economic downturn, massive layoffs and a production shutdown. Here’s what happened next:
Additionally, the company and its Autopilot driver assistance system have come under increased scrutiny from safety regulators in the United States. The Tesla’s have been involved in a series of crashes with other vehicles, some of which have resulted in fatalities, while the autopilot system was activated.
The company continues to promote its autopilot system, which can take over some of the steering, braking and accelerating tasks of drivers, and a more advanced feature set, Full Self Driving, which it offers for 10,000. $ but has so far only allowed a selection of client groups to test.
In August, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration launched a formal investigation into how the autopilot recognizes objects on the road. It specifically examines 11 instances where Teslas crashed into emergency vehicles that had stopped on freeways and whose lights were flashing.
The agency is also looking at more than two dozen other crashes involving Tesla that were under autopilot control. Eight of these crashes have killed a total of 10 since the first in 2016.