San Francisco: Tesla Inc is expected to record record sales on Wednesday, but analysts and investors are focused on how quickly Tesla can scale production at two new plants this year with technology changes, as well as battery and other supply chain constraints clouding the outlook.
Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk is promising an updated product roadmap on Wednesday, with an eye on the timelines for the launch of Cybertruck and a hoped-for $25,000 electric car.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if Tesla has some major manufacturing challenges, producing the new vehicle structures and new batteries at high volumes,” said Guidehouse Insights analyst Sam Abuelsamid.
Tesla has weathered the global supply chain crisis better than other automakers, has produced a record number of vehicles and revenue is expected to rise 52% to $16.4 billion in the fourth quarter, according to data from Refinitiv.
Automotive gross margin, excluding regulatory credits, is expected to be flat or slightly ahead of the previous quarter, despite an inflationary environment that is negatively impacting parts costs, said Gene Munster, managing partner at venture capital firm Loup Ventures.
Analysts said Tesla’s two new plants in Texas and Berlin could eventually double Tesla’s production capacity, but it’s not clear whether Tesla has started production.
Musk said new factories will use manufacturing technology, such as molding the body in just two or more pieces and integrating next-generation batteries into the vehicle’s body.
While the new technologies would help reduce the number of vehicle parts, reducing manufacturing complexity and lowering costs, they could pose a “significant manufacturing risk,” Musk said in 2020.
Additionally, investors will want to hear about the supply chain prospects, with automakers scrambling to meet the demand for electric vehicles.
Tesla expected the first vehicles equipped with a proprietary 4680 battery, which could give cars more range and lower their costs, to ship early this year, but it’s not clear when they’ll be able to mass-produce the batteries. .
Tesla’s main battery supplier, Panasonic, will begin production of new batteries for Tesla in Japan as early as 2023, the Nikkei reported Monday. LG Energy Solution also targeted production of the 4680 cells by 2023, Reuters reported last year.
In 2019, Musk unveiled Tesla’s futuristic electric pickup trucks, aiming to gain a foothold in the popular and profitable segment in the US market.
Musk, who has often missed his self-imposed launch targets, has already delayed production of Cybertruck from late 2021 to late 2022. A source told Reuters that Tesla aims to begin first production of the highly anticipated model in early 2023. changes in features and functionality of the original version.
“This is the first time Tesla has launched a vehicle with serious competition,” said Sam Fiorani, vice president at AutoForecast Solutions, referring to Ford and Rivian, who plan to ramp up production.
Because it’s very difficult to enter the US truck market — home to America’s “Big Three” automakers, Tesla will likely go after “weekend warriors or lifestyle buyers” rather than traditional commercial buyers, he said.
$25,000 Electric Cars
Musk promised in 2020 that Tesla would offer a $25,000 electric car that could drive itself in three years.
Tesla vice president Lars Moravy said in October that the company would not add new vehicles while battery cells were limited, and that production of its existing models would be prioritized.
“Long-term investors care about Model 2,” Munster said, with current car prices, Tesla wouldn’t be able to grow volume by 50% each year.
(This story was not edited by DailyExpertNews staff and was generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)