US electric vehicle (EV) giant Tesla has predicted its rapid rate of sales growth won’t continue in 2024, following a significant drop in the brand’s profits to round out 2023.
In a quarterly financial call held overnight, the brand said its main US factory in Texas won’t be able to keep up with the recent growth rate which has made the company a leader in the EV market.
“In 2024, our vehicle volume growth rate may be notably lower than the growth rate achieved in 2023, as our teams work on the launch of the next-generation vehicle at Gigafactory Texas,” Tesla said in a statement.
The as-yet unnamed next-generation EV has been rumoured to either be the long-awaited US$25,000 (A$38,000) EV – first announced by Tesla CEO Elon Musk in 2020 – or the brand’s most affordable SUV yet.
As reported earlier today, sources close to Tesla have told Reuters there is a new electric SUV – a ‘compact crossover’ – due from the company in mid-2025, which could eventually account for more than 500,000 sales annually.
While Tesla reports its total revenue rose by three per cent in the fourth quarter of 2023 (October to December inclusive) to US$25.2 billion (A$38.3bn), Automotive News reports net profit fell by 39 per cent compared to the quarter prior to US$2.5bn (A$3.8bn) after a one-time US$5.9bn (A$9bn) tax gain was removed.
According to Tesla, it spent more on capital expenditure and research and development in 2023 than in any year in the company’s history.
Last year, Tesla produced and sold more EVs than any other company, despite falling behind Chinese rival BYD in the final quarter of 2023.
The Tesla Model Y SUV and Model 3 sedan accounted for more than half of new EV sales in Australia throughout 2023, while the Model Y became the first battery-powered vehicle to top Europe’s sales charts.