Tesla’s volatile Q4 couldn’t dampen its record-breaking year

Tesla’s volatile Q4 couldn’t dampen its record-breaking year

Between continued supply chain constraints, brutal rounds of layoffs and plummeting stock prices, the past year has been a showcase of emotions for Tesla and its embattled CEO, Elon Musk. Still, the company managed to produce nearly 440,000 vehicles and delivered more than 405,000 of them, year-over-year increases of 47 and 40 percent, respectively, Tesla announced Wednesday during the fourth-quarter 2022 earnings call. Both are records for Tesla, as well as deliveries of 1.31 million throughout the year. Profits for the year totaled $12.6 billion.

“Even though 2022 was an incredibly challenging year due to forced shutdowns, very high interest rates, and many delivery challenges,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk said during the call. “It’s worth noting that all of these records were met with enormous odds. A credit to the team for achieving it.”

The final quarter of 2022 was especially volatile for the electric carmaker following the completion of Twitter’s acquisition of Musk in late October. As the billionaire sought to divide his attention between his electric vehicle company, his spacecraft company, and his new social media platform, Tesla shareholders revolted, furious that the automaker had lost some $620 billion in capitalization. market that year. Musk’s Twitter antics, combined with his sale of Tesla stock to finance the acquisition, caused the EV company’s ticker to crash, resulting in drastic price cuts, by as much as $20,500 in some cases. This, in turn, caused customers in China, angry that they had just bought their vehicles at a higher price, to storm Tesla showrooms demanding answers and restitution.

“The most common question investors have asked us is about demand,” Musk said. “I want to put that concern aside. So far in January we’ve seen the strongest orders here today than ever in our history, currently we’re seeing orders at nearly double the production rate.”

“It’s hard to say if that will continue at double the production rate,” he continued. “Orders are high, and we’ve actually increased the price of the Model Y a bit in response to that. We think demand will be good despite probably a contraction in the overall auto market.”

Those price cuts will continue into the new year. “In the near term, we are accelerating our cost reduction roadmap and moving towards higher production rates,” the company announced Wednesday. “In any scenario, we are prepared for near-term uncertainty, while we focus on the long-term potential of autonomy, electrification and power solutions.”

Despite the turbulence, Tesla continues to expand its regional production capacities. In January, the company announced its $3.6 billion investment in two new factories, one of which will produce the long-awaited and repeatedly delayed semi-electric 18-wheeler. The company aims to produce 1.8 million vehicles in total next year.

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