Tesla Model 3, Courtesy of Tesla Inc.
Nicolas Caballero's picture

Tesla Exceeds Expectations And Breaks All Records In 2021; Q4 Results

Tesla published the financial results of 2021, greatly exceeding expectations in both turnover and profits. Although they asked for caution for 2022 projections - due to ongoing problems with the supply chain and logistics – they are optimistic about the increase in production with the opening of Giga-Texas and Giga-Berlin.

Last Wednesday January 26th Tesla presented the official economic results for the fourth quarter of 2021 and the general summary of the full year. As most analysts predicted Tesla exceeded expectations in both revenue and profit, which was praised by Elon Musk. The company aims to continue growing in the coming years thanks to the opening of new factories and the arrival of new electric vehicles. However, Musk is cautious about the immediate future given the state of the supply chain and logistics.

Tesla Model Y, Courtesy of Tesla Inc.

A month after the publication of the 2021 sales figures, the financial results go beyond analyst forecasts. During the last three months of 2021, the firm announced that it reached a turnover of 17.7 billion dollars, which is 65% more than last year and 29% more than the previous quarter. Even after large investments made to ramp up production and at the same time expand its range of vehicle offerings, the profit achieved by Tesla breaks a new record, exceeding 2 billion dollars.

Tesla delivered a total of 936,172 electric cars last year, out of which 308,600 correspond to the fourth quarter of 2021. These are really impressive numbers, supported by strong growth in the areas of supply chain management, battery deployment and energy management. With deliveries up 87% as compared to 2020, Tesla was able to increase operating cash flows to $5 billion during 2021, with an increase of $1.5 billion in cash.

Investment in the new factories, including capital expenditures, basically rounded $6.5 billion. The Fremont factory achieved its record production numbers last year. Tesla announced the increase in capacity to 600,000 vehicles per year. Meanwhile, and as we mentioned in an article yesterday, Giga-Texas already started producing Model Y units with 4680 structural cells, although the first deliveries will not take place until the facility receives final certification. On the other hand, Shanghai Gigafactory is now the second most productive Tesla BEV plant (after Fremont), with more than 450,000 vehicles assembled this year.

Giga Shanghai, courtesy of Tesla Inc.

However, given the global market situation, Tesla says that Giga Shanghai will remain its main export hub. Finally, the Berlin Gigafactory is still in the (long and bureaucratic...) process of getting permission to start production, apparently scheduled for March; an important detail is that in this case, the first Model Y SUVs coming from Berlin will be still manufactured with 2170 cells.

Tesla Model Y, Courtesy of Tesla Inc.

The objectives set by Tesla for the coming years are focused on growth in production and sales. ”Over a horizon of several years, we expect to achieve an average annual growth of 50% in vehicle deliveries. The rate of growth will depend on the capacity of our teams, operational efficiency and the capacity and stability of the supply chain”, as per their statements during Q4 earnings call.

Tesla expects factories to still run below capacity due to supply chain issues and a continuing worldwide shortage of microchips. Perhaps - and in response to this shortage situation - Tesla is also looking to expand its business interests to software development: “As we continue to execute innovations to reduce the cost of manufacturing and operations, over time, we expect that our profits related to the hardware are accompanied by an acceleration of software-related earnings.”

All images courtesy of Tesla Inc.

Nico Caballero is the VP of Finance of Cogency Power, specializing in solar energy. He also holds a Diploma in Electric Cars from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, and enjoys doing research about Tesla and EV batteries. He can be reached at @NicoTorqueNews on Twitter. Nico covers Tesla and electric vehicle latest happenings at Torque News.

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