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Tesla Results Beat Forecasts as New Plants Aim to Ease China Burden

Higher prices help insulate the company from supply chain chaos and rising costs, with the results likely to trigger $23 billion in new payouts to chief executive Elon Musk


Tesla gigafactory
Elon Musk attends the opening of the Tesla Gigafactory for electric cars in Gruenheide, near Berlin. Photo: AFP.

 

US electric vehicle (EV) maker Tesla posted impressive financial results on Wednesday, beating Wall Street expectations as the company hopes new factories in Germany and the US will reduce reliance on output from its coronavirus-hit Shanghai plant.

Higher prices helped insulate the Elon Musk-run company from supply chain chaos and rising costs. The results also should trigger $23 billion in new payouts to Musk, already the world’s richest man.

Tesla has been an outlier since the pandemic outbreak, posting record deliveries and earnings for several quarters when rivals wrestling with global supply chain snarls rolled out production halts.

Tesla raised its prices in China, the US and other countries, after Musk said in March the carmaker was facing significant inflationary pressure in raw materials and logistics amid the crisis in Ukraine.

Shares of Tesla rose 5% after the close of regular trading.

On an investor conference call, Musk said Tesla has a reasonable shot at achieving 60% vehicle delivery growth this year and remains confident of seeing 50% annual delivery growth for several years.

 

Berlin, Austin

New factories in Berlin and Austin will be key to meeting demand and reducing reliance on its China factory, its biggest one, which is recovering from a plant shutdown.

“Our own factories have been running below capacity for several quarters as [the] supply chain became the main limiting factor, which is likely to continue through the rest of 2022,” Tesla said in a statement.

“Factory ramps take time, and Gigafactory Austin and Gigafactory Berlin-Brandenburg will be no different,” Tesla said in a statement.

Tesla reported quarterly revenue of $18.76 billion and adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) of $5.02 billion.

Investors also worry about Musk being distracted by his Twitter bid at a time when Tesla is ramping up production at the new factories.

Musk’s latest compensation windfall, which must be certified by Tesla’s board, comes days after he offered to buy Twitter for $43 billion, with analysts suggesting he could sell Tesla shares to help finance the deal.

 

  • Reuters, with additional editing by George Russell

 

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George Russell

George Russell is a freelance writer and editor based in Hong Kong who has lived in Asia since 1996. His work has been published in the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, New York Post, Variety, Forbes and the South China Morning Post.

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