Bloomberg — Tesla Inc. shipped 308,600 cars in total worldwide during its fourth quarter. It broke the previous record and marked the end of a remarkable year.
The better-than-expected results posted Sunday pushed Tesla’s total sales for the year to more than 936,000, up about 87% over 2020’s deliveries of just under half a million vehicles. Bloomberg polled thirteen analysts who expected 263,000 vehicles in the third quarter. Some had revised these numbers up over the last days of December.
“This is a trophy-case quarter for Tesla as the company blew away even bull-case expectations,” Daniel Ives, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, said in an e-mailed statement. He called it a “jaw-dropper performance for Musk & Co. in the December quarter with massive tailwinds into 2022.”
The most important indicator for Tesla is its quarterly deliveries. These are the key to Tesla’s financial success and widely considered a gauge of demand for electric cars as a company, as they reflect the pioneering role that the company played in the field of battery-powered cars.
Crypto trading suggests that Tesla’s shares will rise when Wall Street wakes up Monday. The FTX crypto-exchange saw Tesla tokens rise less than 1% after Sunday’s announcement.
The EV market leader’s shares have soared on the back of expectations for continued growth, with the stock up almost 50% in 2021 and a market valuation exceeding $1 trillion — one of only five publicly listed U.S.-based companies to achieve that status. On Dec. 31, the stock closed at $1056.78, down 1.3%
Learn more: Tesla sells a small fraction of the trillion-dollar value it holds to close out its fiscal year
Tesla stated repeatedly that they expect 50% increases in annual deliveries for a longer period. The 7th consecutive quarterly increase comes amid a worldwide semiconductor slump, which has reduced production at many other automakers and held sales back despite growing demand.
Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk, who became the world’s richest person last year, has described 2021 as a “supply chain nightmare” even as his company continued to grow deliveries each quarter. The company has performed better than the rest of automakers because its engineers worked to change software to work with any other chips.
Tesla said that it should consider its delivery count slightly conservative. Final numbers may vary by 0.5%.
Deliveries and actual production don’t necessarily match up one-for-one during any given quarter. For the fourth quarter, production reached 305,840 and for the whole year, 930,422.
The company doesn’t break out sales by geography, but the U.S. and China are its largest markets and the bulk of sales were of the Model 3 and Y. Tesla currently makes the Model S, X, 3 and Y at its factory in Fremont, California, and the Model 3 and Y at its plant in Shanghai. Two new factories in Austin, Texas, and Berlin will increase Tesla’s production capacity by 2022.
Musk has promised to provide an update on Tesla’s new product plans on the company’s next earnings call.
–With assistance from Tony Robinson.