Tesla once again bucked the auto industry trend and reported an increase in car sales, despite computer chip shortages and other logistical issues that forced other automakers to drastically cut production .
The company said it sold 310,000 cars in the first quarter, up slightly from 309,000 sold in the fourth quarter of last year, but a 68% increase from sales in the same quarter a year ago.
Tesla was able to do this even though its two new factories – one outside Berlin, the other outside Austin, Texas – started producing and shipping cars only a few years ago. weeks. Tesla doesn’t break down where its cars are produced or sold.
The company’s sales and production were “better than expected” according to Dan Ives, technology analyst at Wedbush Securities.
He said Tesla’s results were impressive “in light of recent Covid shutdowns in China and massive logistical complications delivering units to customers in Europe. We believe that around 20,000 to 25,000 units were pushed back from Q1 to Q2 due to logistical and factory issues, so this underlying demand number still looks solid with a robust trajectory for the remainder of 2022.”
Most other automakers have been forced by various supply chain issues to cut production. Other automakers did not report global sales, as Tesla did in its report, but the companies’ U.S. sales figures that released on Friday showed steep declines from a year ago. And it is clear that the problems of logistics and production are not behind them.
For example, General Motors will temporarily close its Fort Wayne, Indiana plant, which builds its best-selling Silverado and Sierra pickup trucks for the next two weeks due to chip shortages.
GM (GM) sales in the United States fell 20% from a year ago, although they were up 16% from the fourth quarter. But its total sales of 513,000 cars and trucks in the first quarter left it about 2,000 vehicles behind Japanese rival Toyota (TM) in the race for the most sales in the United States, even if Toyota (TM ) were 15% lower than they were. one year ago.
Toyota won the first U.S. sales title in 2021, the first time in nearly a century that GM hasn’t topped the industry in terms of sales in its home market.
Ford (F) has not yet announced its first quarter sales. Stellantis, the company that includes what used to be called Fiat Chrysler, reported a 14% drop in sales from a year earlier.
U.S. sales of Honda (HMC) fell 23%. The smallest decline among major automakers was seen at Hyundai and Kia, which operate separately but have common ownership. Their sales in the United States were only down about 5% from a year ago.
Limited car availability, coupled with strong consumer demand, has led to record car prices. Most buyers have to pay more than the manufacturer’s suggested retail price, or list price, rather than the typical MSRP discount that’s been the norm in recent years.