Tesla managed to sell more than 200,000 vehicles last quarter, even as the company faced rising prices, a PR disaster in China and a shortage of computer chips.
The company also managed to build more than 200,000 cars over the past three months despite those enormous headwinds. The increase in the number of vehicles produced and sold more than doubled the number from a year ago, when the pandemic caused Tesla to shut its factories. But orders and deliveries were also up modestly from the first quarter of this year, similar what was reported Thursday by other automakers. Deliveries came in at 201,250, compared to about 91,000 a year ago and 184,800 in the first quarter.
The entire auto industry has been struggling with the chip shortage. In April Tesla CEO Elon Musk called the shortage a “huge problem” for Tesla. “Our teams have done an outstanding job navigating through global supply chain and logistics challenges,” said Tesla’s statement about second-quarter sales. Tesla also has raised car prices to deal with rising raw material costs, which is also a problem across the industry. But Tesla has been uniquely dogged by bad publicity in China, the world’s largest market for car and EV sales, over safety and quality concerns. A group of Tesla owners protested at the Shanghai auto show in April. And nearly 300,000 Teslas built at its relatively new Shanghai plant were recalled a week ago. There have been concerns among investors that Tesla could be facing long-term problems in China.
Friday’s sales report did not break down Tesla sales by market, but the headline number should quiet some of the concerns about China, said Dan Ives a tech analyst with Wedbush Securities who has a buy recommendation on Tesla shares. “Overall, this quarter was an impressive performance from Musk & Co. and now with a strong second half performance should be able to hit about 900,000 vehicles for the year, which was a major stretch goal to kick off this year,” said Ives in a note to clients. “China and Europe had strong months of May/June we believe, which were key this quarter.” Tesla is also facing growing competition from electric vehicles from established automakers such as Volkswagen, General Motors and Ford.