Tesla produced and delivered record numbers of vehicles during the first quarter of 2022, despite supply chain issues, Covid surges and health restrictions in China causing it to shut down production during the first few months of the year.
Tesla delivered 310,048 vehicles from January through March, up 70% from the same period in 2021, and produced 305,407 vehicles, it said Saturday.
The Model 3 and Model Y accounted for the vast majority of deliveries in the quarter, which were up only slightly from the fourth quarter of 2021, when it delivered nearly 309,000 vehicles.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in a tweet it was an “exceptionally difficult quarter due to supply chain interruptions & China zero Covid policy,” and applauded the work from the Tesla team and key suppliers that “saved the day.”
Wedbush Securities analysts Daniel Ives and John Katsingris wrote Saturday the first-quarter sales were a “positive step in the right direction,” noting that most investors will look past the slight miss on deliveries – Wall Street analysts were on average expecting 312,000, they said.
They believe delivery of roughly 20,000 to 25,000 units was pushed out of the first quarter into the second due to logistical and factory issues, “which makes this underlying demand number still look strong with a robust trajectory” for the rest of the year.
Tesla is the largest electric vehicle seller in the world, and reported a record 936,172 deliveries last year, but like all automakers, it is struggling with shortages of parts. The New York Times reports Tesla has fared better than its competitors from the worldwide computer chip shortage because it was able to substitute chips needed for its vehicles. Covid-related shutdowns have also affected the company, as Tesla reportedly had to suspend production at its Shanghai factory for four days due to a staggered Covid-19 lockdown in the city earlier this week. The company has moved to open new factories, including the launch of a “Gigafactory” in Germany last week. Tesla plans to host a “cyber rodeo” as part of its grand opening of a vehicle production plant in Austin, Texas, next week.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
Tesla will announce its financial results for the first quarter after market close on April 20.