Tesla struggled with rising transportation costs associated with “raw material cost inflation,” continued component shortages and a stronger dollar in the third quarter, all of which ate away at its revenue. quarterly ($21.45 billion vs $21.96 billion expected). Yet the EV automaker still managed to set production records at each of its plants. According to the company’s quarterly production report released earlier this month, Tesla built 365,923 vehicles in the third quarter and delivered just 343,830.
Auto sales revenue hit $18.69 billion in the latest quarter, a 55% year-over-year increase, helping the company regain momentum lost in the during its slower second trimester. Tesla stock values have fallen more than 17% since this report was published, CNBC reports, and have fallen more than 5% since the market closed on Wednesday when Tesla’s results were released. The third quarter also saw Tesla AI director Andrej Karpathy leave the company after half a decade leading the company’s ADAS development.
Despite these most recent losses, Tesla has seen its profits double over the past year to $3.29 billion and “it looks like we’re going to have an epic end to the year,” CEO Elon Musk said during of the call to investors. “We have great demand for the fourth quarter and we plan to sell every car we make for that.”
Musk also provided an update on the availability of the Full Self-Driving beta. “We plan to release the full self-driving software to everyone who orders the package by the end of this year,” Musk said on the call. “It won’t have [NHTSA] regulatory approval at that time, but with the car it will be able to take you from home to work, to a friend’s house, to the grocery store, without you touching the wheel.”
“We’re not saying he’s quite ready to have no one behind the wheel,” he clarified. “It’s just that you almost never have to touch the controls of the vehicle.”
Tesla is aiming for 50% annual vehicle sales growth over the next few years. In 2021, Tesla delivered some 936,000 vehicles and has delivered 908,573 vehicles so far in 2022. So to meet the 50% growth target, the company will need to sell about 1.4 million vehicles in total, this year, as Autoblog ratings, including 490,000 in the fourth quarter. Tesla has also recommitted to starting deliveries of its Semi from December. “Factories are running at full capacity and we deliver every car we make and keep operating margins strong,” Musk said.
The developments come as Musk’s potential $44 billion Twitter purchase makes its way through the courts and could force Tesla’s CEO to sell more of his shares in the automaker to fully fund the deal. “I’m excited about where Twitter is at because obviously I know this product incredibly well and it’s a long languishing asset with incredible potential,” Musk said.