Tesla makes record profits and will not produce new models in 2022

Detroit (AP) — Tesla recorded record fourth-quarter and full-year revenues on Wednesday as electric vehicle deliveries surged despite a global shortage of computer chips that slowed the entire automotive industry. did.

The company predicted it could build 50% more vehicles than last year, but CEO Elon Musk said a lack of chips would prevent new models from being rolled out in 2022. Originally it was scheduled to be released last year.

Musk also said Tesla hasn’t worked on the promised $ 25,000 small electric car yet, but it will.

“Frankly, we have enough now,” he said.

Musk also said the company is considering building an additional factory and will provide up-to-date information on the location later this year.

The Austin, Texas company earned $ 5.5 billion last year, compared to a record $ 3.47 billion in net income for the previous year recorded in 2020.

Musk said in a conference call with analysts that last year was a milestone for the company.

“There is no doubt about the feasibility and profitability of electric vehicles,” Tesla said in a letter to shareholders.

Last year, factory production was curtailed as the company focused its resources on vehicle modifications and manufacturing to address chip shortages and other supply chain issues that continued this year, Musk said. Much engineering work and factory tools are underway to produce the delayed Cybertrucks, Semis, and new Roadsters, and he said he hopes to be ready for production next year.

He said that if Tesla started building new cars this year, fewer cars would be delivered as attention and resources go to new models.

Tesla said it began manufacturing a model YSUV with a more advanced battery cell at a new plant near Austin at the end of last year. After the final certification, we plan to start delivering to our customers. The company said it is testing equipment at a new plant in Germany and is seeking a manufacturing license from the local government.

According to the company, its “fully autonomous driving” software is currently being tested on public roads by owners of approximately 60,000 vehicles in the United States. It was about 2,000 in the third quarter. This software costs $ 12,000 and you can’t drive it yourself yet. The company said it should accelerate Tesla’s profitability.

Musk said this year he would be shocked that software couldn’t be driven safer than humans, but declined to ask if the company would reach full autonomy in 2022. Currently, Tesla states that “fully self-driving” is the driving force. The assist system and driver must always be ready to intervene.

In 2019, Musk predicted a fleet of autonomous Tesla Robotaxis on the road by the end of 2020.

U.S. safety regulator Investigating complaints About the safety of “fully automated driving”, and why they also operate Tesla in a less sophisticated, partially automated system called the “autopilot” Repeatedly collided with a parked emergency vehicle..

In the fourth quarter, Tesla earned $ 2.32 billion. Excluding special items such as stock-based compensation, the company earned $ 2.54 per share. This exceeded Wall Street’s expectations of $ 2.36 per share. According to FactSet, revenue for the quarter was $ 17.72 billion, ahead of analysts’ estimates of $ 17.13 billion.

Last year, Tesla delivered a record 936,000 vehicles. This is almost double the number for 2020. In the fourth quarter, vehicle sales reached 308,600, a record high. Tesla said it expects 50% annual growth in vehicle delivery “over a multi-year period.”

Musk also said it was awarded $ 245 million in the fourth quarter for reaching several operational milestones in its compensation package.

The company said it was able to drive cost savings and boost vehicle sales in the final quarter of this year. However, we faced higher costs for raw materials, commodities and logistics, as well as higher warranty and recall costs.

Tesla’s stock initially fell in long-term trading after earnings were announced, but then recovered and fell by less than 1%. Shares rose 2% on Wednesday to close at $ 937.41.