Tesla, the world’s largest electric car maker, reported a sharp rise in global sales in the first three months of the year on Saturday as it overcame supply chain problems and moved closer to production levels comparable to incumbents. luxury car manufacturers such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz. benz.
Tesla said it delivered 310,000 cars from January to March, up from 185,000 in the same period in 2021, roughly in line with Wall Street’s expectations. The nearly 70 percent increase was in contrast to major automakers such as General Motors and Toyota, which reported large sales declines Friday due to shortages of key components.
The first-quarter gains build on Tesla’s momentum from last year, when it nearly doubled sales to just under 1 million cars, overtaking Volvo and Subaru. Tesla has coped better with an industry-wide shortage of computer chips because its software mastery has enabled it to replace available chips with scarce ones.
First-quarter sales were “a positive step in the right direction for the next step of Tesla growth,” Wedbush Securities’ Daniel Ives and John Katsingris said in a note on Saturday, though acknowledging that some analysts had expected more.
Tesla said on Saturday it was able to deliver the increase in sales “despite ongoing supply chain challenges and plant closures.” Tesla has had to stop production of its Shanghai company several times due to lockdowns imposed by the local government.
Tesla’s first quarter sales were virtually unchanged from the fourth quarter of 2021, when it delivered 309,000 vehicles. The Tesla Model 3 sedan and Model Y SUV accounted for almost all of the sales volume.
Some analysts believe Tesla could sell 2 million cars by 2022 now that a factory near Berlin has begun production of the Model Y for European customers, posing a challenge to the German automakers that dominate the luxury market. Tesla sells far more electric vehicles than any other automaker, and battery-powered cars are growing faster than any other vehicle category. Sales of those cars could increase further as gasoline prices rise and remain high. Tesla’s $1 trillion market cap is a sign that, as far as Wall Street is concerned, it is on track to dominate the industry.
At the same time, the electric car market is becoming increasingly crowded as established automakers are late offering more battery-powered models that catch on with buyers, such as the Ford Mustang Mach E or Volkswagen ID.4. Traditional automakers could gain a larger share of the electric car market if, as some industry executives predict, the semiconductor shortage abates later in the year.
Tesla will release earnings and revenue figures on April 20, the company said on Saturday.