Tesla, the fastest-growing U.S. automaker, reported record deliveries of its electric vehicles in 2021’s final quarter and its best-ever total sales volume, getting 936,172 of its namesake cars and crossovers to global customers.
The company said in a statement Sunday it delivered 308,600 units, led mainly by growth in Model Y hatchbacks and Model 3 sedans, with pricey Model S and Model X crossovers, which sell for about $100,000 each, accounting for a much smaller portion. Production for the quarter at Tesla’s plants in Fremont, California, and Shanghai totaled 305,840 units and 930,422 for the year.
The company doesn’t break down its sales by region, but China has been key to its accelerating volume growth, both in deliveries to customers there and as an export base to Europe and other markets. The quarterly delivery tally, up about 70% from a year ago, beat expectations of equity analysts including Deutsche Bank’s Emmanuel Rosner, who estimated deliveries would reach 282,000 units. Tesla’s full-year deliveries rose 87% from 2021.
Though the company fell just short of delivering 1 million vehicles last year, CEO Elon Musk has said he thinks Tesla can sell 20 million EVs annually by the end of the decade. That would be unprecedented since the world’s biggest automakers, including Toyota and Volkswagen, only sell about 10 million units worldwide annually. Certainly, Tesla should continue to see substantial growth throughout 2022 as it prepares to open new plants in Germany and Texas that will boost its total production capacity amid rising consumer interest in EVs.
“Musk & Co. have navigated the chip supply shortages better than any automaker globally over the last six months, which is why Tesla is in a clear position of strength heading into 2022 with an inflection point year ahead,” Dan Ives, an equity analyst with Wedbush, said in a research note last week in which he raised his target price on the shares to as much as $1800. “The linchpin to the overall bull thesis on Tesla remains China, which we estimate will represent 40% of deliveries for the EV maker in 2022.”
The company is to release revenue and net income results in a few weeks.
Tesla shares fell 1.3% to $1,056.78 on Friday, the final trading day of 2021.
By Alan Ohnsman, Forbes Staff