Tesla reports record income, profit and deliveries in Q3

Electric car leader Tesla looks to have put its cash-burning and 'production hell' stages behind it based on the latest performance figures.

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Mike Costello
Mike Costello
News Editor

Tesla claims to have achieved best-ever income, profit, production and deliveries in a bumper third quarter (Q3) of 2021.

Its latest financial report claims a 57 per cent quarterly (year-on-year) increase in total revenue, driven in large part by a Q3 delivery spike of 73 per cent to 241,391 electric cars.

The company achieved a 14.6 per cent operating margin despite the average selling price of its cars declining about 6.0 per cent – a result of focusing on the cheaper Model 3 and Model Y, and subsequent 39 per cent decline in deliveries of the more profitable Model S and Model X.

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Tesla points out that this healthy operating margin betters “our medium-term guidance of operating margin in low-teens”. For context Volkswagen AG’s overall margin was 8.8 per cent in the second quarter of 2021.

Tesla’s unaudited financial summary also says the company made $1.5b ($A2.0b) net debt and finance lease payments in Q3, and pocketed $279 million ($A371m) from selling regulatory credits to its competitors

Total debt excluding vehicle and energy product financing has fallen to $2.1b ($A2.8b) at the end of Q3. Its pool of cash did decline by $164m ($A219m) over Q3 however.

“EV demand continues to go through a structural shift. We believe the more vehicles we have on the road, the more Tesla owners are able to spread the word about the benefits of EVs,” the company said.

“While Fremont factory produced more cars in the last 12 months than in any other year, we believe there is room for continued improvement. Additionally, we continue to ramp Gigafactory Shanghai [where Australia’s Model 3s come from] and build new capacity in Texas and Berlin.

“A variety of challenges, including semiconductor shortages, congestion at ports and rolling blackouts, have been impacting our ability to keep factories running at full speed.

MORE: Staggering impact of semiconductor shortage on car industry revealed

“We believe our supply chain, engineering and production teams have been dealing with these global challenges with ingenuity, agility and flexibility that is unparalleled in the automotive industry. We would like to thank everyone who helps advance our mission.”

Tesla currently makes the Model S, X, 3 and Y at its factory in California, and the Model 3 and Y at its plant in Shanghai. New plants are close to completion in Texas and Berlin.

MORE: Tesla posts delivery record
MORE: Tesla to move HQ to Texas
MORE: Tesla ordered to pay worker $186 million for racial abuse

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Mike Costello
Mike Costello
Mike Costello is the News Editor at CarExpert.
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