Tesla on Wednesday forecast that its vehicle deliveries would comfortably grow by more than 50% year-on-year in 2022 despite persistent supply chain issues that it expects to be alleviated only next year.
The upbeat outlook from CEO Elon Musk came after the world’s most valuable automaker posted record quarterly revenue that beat Wall Street expectations.
But the cautious note about supply chain woes showed that even Tesla cannot avoid the shortages that were pitfalls for many larger automakers last year. Shares fell 0.8% after hours.
“We plan to grow our manufacturing capacity as quickly as possible,” Tesla said in a news release that reiterated the company’s target of 50% annual growth.
“The rate of growth will depend on our equipment capacity, operational efficiency and the capacity and stability of the supply chain,” Tesla said.
Musk said that Tesla would not roll out new models this year but hopefully would launch its Cybertruck, Semi and Roadster next year. Tesla said it is not working on a $25,000 model that Musk promised in 2020 would launch in three years.
Revenue rose to $17.72 billion in the fourth quarter, above analyst estimates for $16.57 billion, according to data from Refinitiv.
Tesla has fared better than most automakers in managing supply chain issues by using less scarce chips and quickly rewriting software code.
The company last quarter handed over a record number of vehicles to customers despite supply chain headwinds.
“We still expect to be partly or primarily chip limited this year,” Musk said during a conference call, saying that chip limitations should be alleviated next year.
He said Tesla’s volume growth would comfortably exceed 50% from last year, meaning that Tesla expects to deliver more than 1.4 million vehicles this year.
Tesla said the goal would be achievable even with its two current factories near San Francisco and in Shanghai.
The company said it began building Model Y vehicles in Texas in late 2021, while it started equipment testing in Germany around the same time.
“We are still in the process of finalising the manufacturing permit from local authorities” in Germany, Tesla said.
- AFP and Reuters, with additional editing by George Russell