Tesla says it sold a record 1.3 million vehicles last year

Tesla announced on Monday that it sold a record 1.3 million vehicles last year, but the number fell short of CEO Elon Musk’s promise to grow the company’s sales by 50% almost every year.

The 2022 figure surpassed the previous record of 936,000 vehicles delivered in 2021, but fell short of the 1.4 million needed to meet the company’s 50% growth target. Revenue rose 40% year over year, while production rose 47% to 1.37 million.

The deficit came despite a big year-end sales boost that included rare $7,500 rebates in the US on the Model Y and 3, the company’s best-selling models.

Tesla Inc., based in Austin, Texas, has also had to deal with rising cases of the novel coronavirus in China, which has curtailed production at its Shanghai plant.

With the added US boost, Tesla delivered more than 405,000 vehicles worldwide in the fourth quarter. But that missed Wall Street forecasts. Analysts polled by data provider FactSet expected 427,000 shipments from October through December and 1.33 million for the full year.

“Thank you to all of our customers, employees, suppliers, shareholders and supporters for helping us achieve a great 2022 amid significant COVID-related and supply chain challenges throughout the year,” said the electric vehicle company and solar panels on Monday.

Tesla hasn’t launched any new models over the past year and faces increasing competition from legacy automakers and startups like Lucid and Rivian, which are constantly introducing new electric vehicles.

But Musk has promised to start production of the long-awaited Cybertruck electric pickup later this year. The company has also started shipping its semi-finished electrical products.

The rebates, offered for the last two weeks of the year, raised questions about whether demand for Tesla products was easing as the Federal Reserve hiked interest rates to fight inflation.

That, coupled with Musk’s behavior after his $44 billion purchase of Twitter, helped Tesla’s shares fall more than 65% over the past year and knocked Musk out of the top spot for the world’s richest person, according to Forbes.

The company’s share decline this year, its worst on record, was more than three times the drop in the S&P 500, which fell 19.4%.

Musk wrote on Twitter in December. 30 that the company’s long-term fundamentals are strong, but the “near-term market madness” is unpredictable.

Some investors fear Twitter has distracted Musk from the automaker. Musk said last month that he plans to stay on as Twitter’s CEO until he finds someone willing to replace him in the job.

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