Tesla reports record profit, sees more supply chain woes
Tesla rode rising demand for electric vehicles to a record $5.5 billion profit in 2021, but Elon Musk’s company cautioned on Jan. 26 that supply chain problems would continue to crimp production through 2022.
The U.S. electric carmaker, which scored an 87 percent jump in auto deliveries last year in spite of the global semiconductor shortage, reported a 71 percent rise in revenues to $53.8 billion.
But Tesla said it saw no immediate relief from supply chain woes that have hit activity “for several quarters,” it said.
“We plan to grow our manufacturing capacity as quickly as possible,” it said in a news release that reiterated the company’s target of 50 percent annual growth.
“The rate of growth will depend on our equipment capacity, operational efficiency and the capacity and stability of the supply chain,” Tesla said.
“Our own factories have been running below capacity for several quarters as supply chain became the main limiting factor, which is likely to continue through 2022.”
Musk said he was heartened by announced new semiconductor capacity that should alleviate the imbalance by the end of 2022 or early 2023.
But “there could be other issues” that surface this year, he said during a conference call with analysts and investors.
Musk cited the supply chain issues as a factor in a decision to defer rollouts of new products this year, adding that the company will do engineering of its “Cybertruck” electric pickup with an eye towards a possible launch in 2023.
Tesla has been ramping up production at factories in California and Shanghai, while also building new facilities in Germany and Texas.
Tesla delivered a record 936,000 vehicles last year, nearly double the 2020 figure. Fourth-quarter vehicle sales hit 308,600, also a record.