Tesla Inc on Saturday reported record electric vehicle deliveries for the first quarter, meeting analyst’s estimates, but its production fell from the previous quarter as supply chain disruptions and a China plant suspension weighed.
“This was an *exceptionally* difficult quarter due to supply chain interruptions & China zero Covid policy,” CEO Elon Musk tweeted.
Tesla delivered 310,048 vehicles in the quarter, a slight increase from the previous quarter, and up 68% from a year earlier. Wall Street had expected deliveries of 308,836 cars, according to Refinitiv data.
Tesla produced 305,407 vehicles during the January to March period, down from 305,840 the previous quarter.
Tesla, the world’s most valuable automaker, boosted sales, navigating the pandemic and supply chain disruptions better than rivals and with its new factory in Shanghai in China driving growth.
But a recent spike in COVID-19 cases in China has forced Tesla to suspend production temporarily at its factory in Shanghai as the city locks down to tests residents for the disease.
The deliveries “better than feared given supply chain issues,” Daniel Ives, an analyst in Wedbush said in a report.
Tesla said it sold a total of 295,324 Model 3 sedans and Model Y sport utility vehicles, while it delivered 14,724 Model S luxury sedans and Model X premium SUVs.
Skyrocketing gas prices spurred by the Ukraine crisis is expected to fuel demand for electric cars, but lack of inventory and higher vehicle prices would weigh on sales, analysts say.
Tesla raised its prices in China and the United States https://www.reuters.com/business/autos-transportation/tesla-raises-prices-some-china-made-vehicles-2022-03-15 after CEO Elon Musk said the U.S. electric carmaker was facing significant inflationary pressure in raw materials and logistics after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. https://www.reuters.com/technology/musk-says-tesla-spacex-facing-significant-inflation-pressure-2022-03-14
Tesla started delivering vehicles made at its factory in Gruenheide, Germany, in March and deliveries of cars made at its plant in Austin, Texas, were to begin in the near future.
“Impressive (deliveries) given all the headwinds,” Gene Munster, managing partner at venture capital firm Loup Ventures, said, adding he expects that Tesla would outperform other automakers in vehicle sales.
Toyota and GM, Hyundai Motor on Friday said its first-quarter U.S. sales fell from a year earlier.
Last year, Tesla’s China-made cars accounted for around half of the 936,000 vehicles it delivered globally. Tesla CEO Elon Musk also said in October that Shanghai had surpassed its Fremont, California factory — the company’s first plant — in output.
The existing two factories are critical for Tesla’s goal to boost deliveries by 50% this year, as its new factories in Berlin and Texas are expected to see production ramp up slowly in their first year of production. (Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin in San Francisco, Akash Sriram, Akriti Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel and Alistair Bell and Diane Craft)