Tesla exceeds target despite supply chain constraints

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The Tesla Model S.
The Tesla Model S.

Tesla says its electric vehicle (EV) sales for the third quarter of 2021 hit a record high, with the American EV and clean energy company beating Wall Street estimates, to deliver over 241 000 vehicles to customers across the globe.

As global demand for its vehicles increases, Tesla has been ramping up production, with CEO Elon Musk telling employees to "go super-hardcore" to meet the quarter-end target.

In a statement, the EV manufacturer notes that despite the pandemic-induced global supply chain and logistics challenges that slammed the brakes on the global auto industry, it managed to defy the odds. Overall deliveries surged 20% in the July to September period, up from its previous record in the second quarter.

“In the third quarter, we produced approximately 238 000 vehicles and delivered over 240 000 vehicles. We would like to thank our customers for their patience as we work through global supply chain and logistics challenges.”

The auto market was one of the big industry losers of the pandemic. In 2020, demand for new cars was down 15% year-on-year, driven by changing consumer needs around travel, job uncertainty and factory closures during lockdowns, according to the IDTechEx Power Electronics for Electric Vehicles 2022-2032 report.

While automotive demand waned in 2020 and automakers postponed or cancelled orders, semiconductors and other electronics were quickly re-directed to other sectors and have not been easy to channel back, resulting in supply chain interruptions that ate into auto-makers’ profits, notes the report.

According to Tesla, its delivery count should be viewed as slightly conservative, as it only counts a car as delivered if it is transferred to the customer and all paperwork is correct − final numbers could vary by up to 0.5% or more.

Tesla offers the Model S, Model X, Model 3 and Model Y. The company’s first vehicle, the first-generation Tesla Roadster, is no longer being produced; however, Tesla says it has plans for a second-generation roadster, a semi and a pickup called the Cybertruck.

The Model X is touted by the company as having the highest power and quickest acceleration of any SUV developed by vehicle manufacturers. However, its rivals, according to critics, offer a better luxury experience.

The vehicle’s electric motors provide on-demand all-wheel drive and performance-car acceleration, while the interior is equipped with infotainment and driver-assistance features.

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