Tesla Profits Hit New High In Spite Of Price Hikes

Tesla’s profits soared to $3.3 billion (£2.5bn) in the first quarter of this year as strong demand continued in spite of price hikes and longer waits for new vehicles.

The company has raised prices for its vehicles in recent weeks, citing increased costs.

But it said deliveries were up 68 percent for the quarter compared to a year earlier, and would have been higher if not for materials shortages.

Tesla delivered about 310,000 vehicles globally for the first quarter, up from 184,877 a year earlier and 308,650 in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Image credit: Tesla

Profit spike

Profits increased by about 80 percent a factor of more than seven compared to last year, reaching a record, the firm said.

The company previously saw record revenues of $2.3bn in the last quarter of 2021.

Chief executive Elon Musk, who recently launched an unsolicited bid to acquire Twitter, said Tesla would probably manufacture more than 1.5 million vehicles this year, up about 60 percent on last year.

He said production in China was recovering strongly after Covid-19 lockdowns.

The company was forced to temporarily shutter its Shanghai plant, losing about a month of production in the city due to Covid restrictions, it said.

As the plant reopens this month staff are to be forced to sleep on-site to avoid further lockdowns, Bloomberg has reported.

Disruption

“Although limited production has recently restarted, we continue to monitor the situation closely,” Tesla said in a statement.

The company said its factories are likely to continue operating below capacity throughout 2022 due to ongoing global shortages of semiconductors and other parts.

Tesla has recently opened factories in Texas and Germany, adding to its near-term costs. Musk said in some cases suppliers are also asking for 20 to 30 percent more for parts compared with last year.

Prices for the raw materials used in the vehicles’ rechargeable batteries, such as lithium, had “gone to insane levels”, Musk said on Twitter earlier this month.

He told analysts that Tesla plans to mass-produce a robotaxi without steering wheel or pedals by 2024.

Matthew Broersma

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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