Tesla reports record vehicle deliveries during 1st quarter despite global chip shortage

FILE - In this Monday, May 11, 2020 file photo, a man wearing a mask walks through the Tesla plant parking lot in Fremont, Calif. On Wednesday, July 22, 2020, the electric car maker announced it has picked the Austin, Texas, area as the site for its largest auto assembly plant employing at least 5,000 workers. (AP Photo/Ben Margot). (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Tesla Inc beat Wall Street expectations for first-quarter revenue and profit on Monday boosted by record deliveries, robust demand from China and environmental credit sales.

Tesla said it expects this year’s volume growth to exceed 50 per cent, while saying that it is on track to start production and deliveries at its planned factories in Texas and Berlin this year.

The company had said it delivered a record 184,800 vehicles globally in the January to March quarter, beating market expectations on strong demand from China.

The company said it was able to navigate through global chip supply shortage issues in part by pivoting extremely quickly to new microcontrollers.

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However, its vehicle average selling price fell by 13 per cent as Model S and Model X deliveries reduced ahead of updates and they generated more sales from China.

Tesla said first deliveries of the new Model S should start shortly, while Model Y production rate in Shanghai continued to improve.

Tesla posted record deliveries in the first quarter despite a global chip shortage that has slammed auto sector rivals, and Model Y production in China has spurred demand there.

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Last year, Tesla bucked a pandemic-led market slowdown and posted its first annual profit since its inception in 2003, driven in part by regulatory credit sales.

Still, the world’s most valuable automaker, whose shares jumped more than eight-fold last year, faces challenges of living up to its valuation and managing expectations.

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In the United States, its full self-driving software is facing new federal investigations following 28 crashes of Tesla vehicles, including a recent fatal one in Texas that killed two.

And in China, home to Tesla‘s second vehicle factory, Tesla has been under growing pressure from the government and public after a woman protested alleged brake problems during the Shanghai auto show.

Adding to the headwinds, refreshed versions of the pricier Model S sedan and Model X SUV have been delayed at a time when established rivals such as Volkswagen and Ford Motor Co are rolling out all-electric vehicles, aiming to compete on price and style.

Tesla, led by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, said revenue rose to $10.39 billion from $5.99 billion a year earlier.

Analysts had expected revenue of $10.29 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Tesla earned $518 million from sales of regulatory credits sold to other carmakers in the first quarter, up 42 per cent from a year earlier.

Adjusted profit of 93 cents per share topped Wall Street’s consensus of 79 cents.


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