Tesla returns to profit despite the delay of the new Model S and Model X

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Tesla has received a lot of attention recently, has been delayed with the updated Model S and Model X, and the automotive industry is struggling with a global shortage of semiconductors. But none of those things seemed to have much of an effect on Tesla’s business.

Monday the automaker from Silicon Valley announced the best start ever to a year, despite the fact that no Model S sedan or Model X SUV has been made. That’s largely due to the fact that Tesla continues to increase the number of Model 3s and Model Ys it makes and sells from its year-old factory in Shanghai, China, thus extending CEO Elon Musk’s long-standing goal of manufacturing. localize in the world’s largest electric vehicle markets.

As a result, Tesla generated sales of $ 10.4 billion and profits of $ 438 million in the first quarter. That is, in fact, double the sales it generated in the first quarter of 2020, when Tesla had to temporarily close its factory in China due to the earliest outbreaks of the coronavirus.

This is the seventh straight quarter that Tesla has made a profit, although the company was again supported by selling emission credits to other automakers. Tesla said on Monday it sold a record $ 518 million in regulatory credits, meaning it would end the quarter in the red without them. Tesla presented the growth in regulatory credit sales positively in the presentation it released on Monday. But many of Tesla’s closest followers have been waiting for it to make a profit based on the products it sells. This was not that time.

Tesla also says it sold approximately $ 101 million worth of bitcoin in the first quarter. The company announced in January that it had purchased $ 1.5 billion worth of cryptocurrency and began allowing customers to pay for cars using bitcoin.

All of this comes at a time when Tesla is facing renewed research into the safeguards, or lack thereof, governing use of the advanced driver assistance system Autopilot after a fatal crash in Texas. It is still unclear whether Autopilot was involved in that crash, which killed two men. Even if it did, it’s very possible that the position was misused due to early police reports that there was no one in the driver’s seat – something the company is warning its customers about. But Musk’s brief allegations about Tesla’s ability to stop people from abusing Autopilot have some obvious holes, federal security researchers are now digging into what happened, and the crash has caught the attention of several. legislators.

Tesla did not make Model S sedans or Model X SUVs in the first quarter as the company was preparing redesigned versions of each electric vehicle, which were announced in January. Those refreshed vehicles were due to launch in March, and Musk even said at the time that they would come off the line in February. But the company has either run into a problem converting the production lines at its Fremont, California plant where the Model S and Model X are made, or something else is up.

Tesla said on Monday that the “[f]first deliveries of the new Model S should begin very soon, ”but did not specify what that means or provide an update on the updated Model X.

The fact that Tesla had a strong quarter despite this slowdown is testament to the importance of the new factory in China and the general popularity of the Model 3 and Model Y. But while delays are nothing new in Tesla’s world, the company has been here for the time being. money on the table, as the Model S and Model X generate more profit per car sold and the new versions are even more expensive. Tesla announced in January that the average selling price of all its cars decreased by 11 percent in 2020 compared to 2019 due to the higher mix of Model 3 and Model Y sales.

The global shortage of chips has not hit Tesla as hard as some other car manufacturers. The company said on Monday it was “able to navigate global chip supply shortage problems, in part by moving extremely quickly to new microcontrollers, while at the same time developing firmware for new chips made by new vendors.”

Develop …