Supply chain

Tesla deliveries explode, defying supply chain issues

Tesla Inc.

TSLA -0.03%

overcame tangled global supply chains to deliver a record number of vehicles in the third quarter.

The Silicon Valley electric vehicle maker delivered 241,300 vehicles to its customers in the three months ending September, it said on Saturday, up from 139,593 vehicles in the same period last year. Analysts polled by FactSet predict that Tesla will deliver around 227,000 vehicles in the quarter.

The result makes it easy for Tesla to meet its annual target of increasing deliveries by more than 50% from last year’s total of nearly half a million vehicles. The company put a total of approximately 627,000 vehicles in the hands of customers in the first nine months of the year.

This growth comes despite supply chain disruptions that have limited vehicle production across the global auto industry, leaving buyers with fewer options and bumpy sales. It also upset the usual hierarchy in the US auto market, where Toyota Motor Corp. overtook the traditional General Motors Co. flag bearer in the third quarter.

The continuing semiconductor shortage is expected to cost the global auto industry $ 210 billion in lost revenue this year, consulting firm AlixPartners LLP said. In the United States, the pace of auto sales is expected to drop in September to an annualized rate of 12.4 million vehicles, the lowest rate since May 2020, according to Wards Intelligence.

Tesla chief executive Elon Musk praised these headwinds in a note to employees last month, in which he said the company worked around shortages by building cars with missing parts that had to be added later. , according to a person familiar with the matter.

Tesla delivered a total of 232,025 Model 3 sedans and Model Y compact sport utility vehicles in the third quarter, up from 124,318 of those models a year earlier. It was the first full quarter since Tesla introduced an upgraded version of its Model S luxury sedan, dubbed the Plaid.

The company delivered 9,275 of its top-of-the-line models: Model S sedans and Model X sport utility vehicles. Tesla delivered a total of 15,275 Model S and Model X vehicles during the third quarter of last year .

Analysts polled by FactSet on Friday expected Tesla to report third-quarter profits of around $ 1.1 billion on revenue of more than $ 13 billion. This is an increase from a profit of $ 331 million on $ 8.8 billion in revenue in the prior year period.

Meanwhile, Tesla has prepared to expand public access to an advanced driver assistance tool designed to help people navigate cities, adding to a suite of features primarily intended for highway driving. .

The promise of Tesla’s advanced driver assistance software has attracted customers and investors, helping to transform Tesla into the world’s most valuable automaker. Its shares closed at $ 775.22 on Friday.

“[P]The further upside potential of the stock will be defined by Tesla’s success in efforts outside of vehicle sales, particularly on vehicle range, ”Credit Suisse analyst Dan Levy wrote in a recent memo. to investors.

Still, the company has caught the attention of a chorus of transport officials and security advocates who have expressed concern over the possible misuse of these tools. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened an investigation in August into the company’s advanced driver assistance features after a series of crashes involving Tesla and one or more parked emergency vehicles.

Tesla’s Path and Supply Chain Problems

Corrections and amplifications
AlixPartners LLP said the current semiconductor shortage is likely to cost the global auto industry $ 210 billion in lost revenue this year. An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that the estimated lost revenue would be $ 210 million. (October 2)

Write to Rebecca Elliott at rebecca.elliott@wsj.com

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