NEW YORK (AFP) – Tesla said on Monday it had delivered 1.31 million electric vehicles in 2022 – a record for the United States (US) automaker and a 40 per cent jump from a year before, but still short of its own and Wall Street’s expectations.
The Elon Musk-led company has set a long-term goal of increasing its deliveries by 50 per cent a year on average.
Tesla regularly says the objective may fluctuate based on operations and in a statement on Monday, it noted “significant COVID and supply chain-related challenges” had affected its 2022 output.
Production was suspended at its Shanghai plant for several weeks during the course of last year due to COVID restrictions.
In October, the company’s chief financial officer Zach Kirkhorn said that Tesla might fall short of its goal.
Analysts had hoped for better results – they predicted delivery of 427,000 vehicles in the fourth quarter, according to estimates compiled by FactSet, but the company only managed to deliver 405,000.
To boost sluggish sales, Tesla had offered rare promotions to customers willing to take delivery of a new vehicle before the end of 2022.
In a company-wide e-mail sent to employees last week and seen by CNBC, Musk had asked them to “volunteer to help deliver” as many cars to customers as possible before midnight on December 31.
Industry watchers are concerned that demand for Tesla’s relatively pricey electric vehicles could bottom out amid global economic uncertainty and stiffer competition in the sector.
They are also concerned about Musk’s current focus on operations at social media site Twitter, which he acquired last year.
After soaring on Wall Street in 2020 and 2021, Tesla shares plummeted 65 per cent in 2022.