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Despite global supply chain issues and pandemic-related production disruptions in China, US electric carmaker Tesla set new earnings and revenue records earlier in the year. In the three months to the end of March, sales rose 81 percent year-on-year to $18.8 billion, star entrepreneur Elon Musk’s group announced on Wednesday after the US stock market closed. Tesla had a bottom line of $3.3 billion, up 658 percent from a year ago.
The results were significantly better than expected on Wall Street. Although the global auto industry suffers from a persistent shortage of computer chips, for example, Tesla delivered 310,048 electric cars to customers in the first quarter, an increase of 68 percent year-on-year and a new record. In March, the group opened its first car plant in Europe, near Berlin. Production there, however, has to be really ramped up first.
Tesla did not provide any specific information about the Grünheide factory hours. In the long term, around 500,000 electric cars will roll off the assembly line each year, but the company is still a long way from that. In a conference call with analysts and investors, Musk would say only that the production expansion will be supported by a team of experienced employees and that the company has learned a lot since the start of Model Y production at its US headquarters. in Fremont and in Shanghai. That should now ease the process in Berlin and also at the new US auto plant in Austin, Texas.
Despite the strong numbers, Tesla warned of ongoing difficulties. Global supply chain problems are likely to persist through the rest of the year. Musk said component supply inflation is underestimated: Some suppliers have increased prices by 20 to 30 percent. In the last quarter, Tesla also suffered production disruptions at its car factory in Shanghai due to a COVID lockdown in China. Operations have now started again, but the situation must continue to be closely monitored, Tesla said.
Despite these burdens, the group earns more and more. According to calculations by industry expert Ferdinand Dudenhöffer, Tesla is now the most profitable carmaker in the world after luxury manufacturer Ferrari. In the first quarter, Musk’s company achieved a profit margin of 19.2 percent, the highest margin for automakers selling more than 15,000 vehicles. “With the new plants in Austin and Berlin and the high level of profitability, Tesla will dominate the car market of tomorrow,” says Dudenhöffer.
Pollution rights trading, which other automakers need to improve their emissions balance, once again proved to be a lucrative business for the company. In the first quarter, Tesla billed 679 million dollars, more than double that of the previous quarter. Tesla’s bitcoin holdings have been stable and were last reported at $1.26 billion. Tesla invested $1.5 billion in bitcoin last year, but later sold back some of it.
During the analyst’s call, Musk was also asked about his plans to develop a futuristic-looking “robotaxis” unveiled recently at the groundbreaking for the Austin plant. The Tesla boss promised a product presentation next year and series production could start in 2024. The “Robotaxi” will be a “massive growth driver” for Tesla. However, many details of the model remain open. In the past, Musk had suggested that Tesla owners could make their cars available to others as self-driving taxis when they weren’t using them themselves. However, the dates he gave for such a “Tesla Network” passed.
Shares of Tesla, traded on NASDAQ, reacted temporarily in premarket trading with a rise of 7.07 percent to $1,046.32.
Editorial finance.net / AUSTIN (dpa-AFX)
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