Tesla Maintains Momentum Despite Production Snags

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Tesla produced and delivered fewer electric vehicles than expected during the first quarter of 2022 as supply chain issues and a slow ramp up at new plants in Texas and Berlin took a toll on the company. 

Tesla Berlin worker
The first production-ready Tesla Model Y crossovers rolled off the line at Giga Berlin-Brandenburg last month.

“In the first quarter, we produced over 305,000 vehicles and delivered over 310,000 vehicles, despite ongoing supply chain challenges and factory shutdowns,” Tesla said in a press release posted to the company’s investor website. 

Tesla remained the top selling EV maker in the world as legacy automakers such as Ford, Volkswagen, General Motors, Stellantis, Toyota and Hyundai scramble to catch up with their own line-ups of electric vehicles. 

Tesla increases production

During the first quarter, Tesla built 14,218 Model S/Model X vehicles but 291,189 of the company’s Model 3 and Model Y vehicles, which are slated to be built at new factories in Austin and Berlin as well as in Fremont, California and Tesla’s factory in Shanghai, which not only supplies customers in China but also exports vehicles to Europe and other parts of the world.  

In addition to the slow start of production in Austin and Berlin, where production has been slowed by the continuing environmental concerns around the plant, Tesla’s production appears to have been hobbled by the stringent measures recently implemented the Chinese government to fight a new outbreak of COVID-19.

Tesla Model 3 line Shanghai
The company’s Shanghai plant has been shut down due to the recents efforts by the Chinese government’s COVID-19 restrictions.

The measures have included lockdowns of residents in Shanghai, which have left some automakers, such as GM and Tesla, asking workers to sleep in the factory to get around the rules. Tesla ultimately scratched the idea because it couldn’t meet all of the workers’ needs.

Falls short of predictions

Even though the difficulties led to Tesla falling short of the expectations of analysts who predicted Tesla would deliver 317,000 vehicles in the first quarter, the numbers were substantially better than from the first quarter of 2021 when it delivered 184,800 electric vehicles and produced 180,338 cars. 

Since the figures include numbers from built and sold in China and Europe, the sales numbers are not comparable to the number on U.S. sales reported by other carmakers. Data compiled by Cox Automotive indicates Tesla’s share of the U.S. market now exceeds that of well-established automakers’ such as Volkswagen, BMW, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo and Jaguar Land Rover.

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