Tesla announced a record quarterly profit on Monday as sales of its electric vehicles boomed in the first three months of year.
The world’s most valuable car company recorded a profit of $438m on revenues of $10.39bn despite facing supply issues and the latest in a series of safety investigations following a fatal crash in Texas.
Sales of its Model Y compact sport-utility vehicle and demand in China helped Tesla deliver roughly 184,800 vehicles in the first three months of the year, more than double the number during the same period a year earlier.
The strong financial start to the year comes as federal officials are investigating the fatal crash of one of its cars earlier this month near Houston, Texas. Investigators have said they are “100% sure” no one was driving the Model S sedan, which is equipped with autopilot, when it ran off a road.
The investigation is one of more than two dozen into crashes involving Tesla vehicles.
The company has also been hit by a global shortage of semiconductor chips, initially triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, which has hit manufacturers including Tesla’s rivals across the world.
The company has been instrumental in driving global demand for electric cars and has spurred major investments from rivals including General Motors and Volkswagen.
This year Tesla is expected to open a new “giga-factory” near Austin, Texas, and another outside Berlin, its first in Europe.
Tesla did not make any Model S sedans or Model X SUVs in the first quarter as it is preparing to launch redesigned versions of each vehicle. Those vehicles were supposed to start shipping in March. Tesla said on Monday that the “first deliveries of the new Model S should start very shortly”, but did not specify when.
The company’s share price, which rose eightfold last year, dropped over 2% after the earnings news was released.