Tesla Ships Record 1.3 Million Cars In 2022

Electric carmaker Tesla shipped a record 1.3 million vehicles last year, a 40 percent increase from the previous year, but missed analysts’ expectations.

The firm said on Monday it broke its quarterly record for shipments in the quarter to the end of December, delivering 405,278 vehicles as its new Texas and Berlin plants continued to increase production, up 11 percent on the record it set the previous quarter.

But most analysts had expected deliveries to reach 420,000 to 430,000, and the shortfall added to concerns that higher interest rates and slower global economic growth could mean lower demand for Tesla’s cars in 2023.

Tesla chief executive Elon Musk had predicted earlier in the year that the firm would hit a longer-range goal of 50 percent annual growth, but he became more cautious as Covid-19-related shutdowns affected production in China and demand began to weaken.

Tesla’s Gigafactory 3 in Shanghai. Image credit: Tesla

Weakening demand

The company said production exceeded deliveries by 34,423 in the quarter, the third in a row in which Tesla reported excess production.

Tesla said logistics accounted for at least part of the problem, with changes to its production and delivery processes leading to “a further increase in cars in transit at the end of the quarter”.

Earlier in 2022 Tesla struggled to maintain production amidst supply chain challenges and a lengthy shutdown of its key Shanghai plant in the spring.

But by late in the year the situation had changed so much that Tesla voluntarily shut down most work at the Shanhai factory in late December, according to media reports, and planned a reduced production schedule in January 2023 ahead of the Chinese New Year on 22 January.

Tesla’s shares fell by 65 percent in 2022 and fell 54 percent in the final quarter alone as investors worried that Musk was focusing too much on the reorganisation of Twitter, which he bought for $44 billion (£37bn) in October.

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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