As predicted by many, Tesla Inc. set another quarterly record for production and deliveries during the first quarter of 2021 while rolling out another profitable quarter.
The delivery numbers eclipsed the previous record by more than 4,000 units, coming in at 184,877 vehicles during the quarter. The overwhelming majority of the deliveries were Model 3 and Model Y at 182,847 vehicles – at 140% increase compared to the year-ago number. It’s also a 21,000-plus unit jump compared with the previous quarter.
The company’s automotive revenue came in at $9 billion, an increase of 75% compared with Q1 2020. Overall, the company’s total revenue came in at $10.4 billion with a net income of $438 million or 39 cents per share. It also reported an adjusted EBITDA of $1.8 billion for the quarter with operating income reported at $594 million with a 5.7% operating margin.
Big results — again
Quarter-end and cash equivalents to $17.1 billion in Q1, driven mainly by a net cash outflow of $1.2 billion in cryptocurrency (Bitcoin) purchases, net debt and finance lease repaymenbts of $1.2 billion, partially offset by free cash flow of $293 million.
“There’s no guarantee that Elon Musk’s appearance on SNL will garner big laughs, but it’s certain that he’s laughing all the way to the bank,” said Jessic Caldwell, Edmunds’ executive director of insights.
“Tesla had a record-breaking first quarter, and seems to be doing particularly well compared to its more traditional OEM competitors who are starting to flounder in light of the unique market conditions squeezing the industry right now. It’s pretty ironic that as an automaker known for producing computers on wheels, Tesla’s deliveries in a quarter marred by a global chip shortage have proven to be so strong.
The big numbers came despite the fact the average selling price for one of its vehicles fell during the quarter. However, officials seem almost pleased by that, noting that lowering “the average cost of the vehicles we produce is essential to our mission.”
Big sales — again
The company was quick to note that with production of its Model 3 basically coming from one plant (Shanghai), it is the best-selling premium sedan “in the world.” It outsold its top competitors, the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes E-Class.
“This demonstrates that an electric vehicle can be a category leader and outsell its gas-powered counterparts. We believe Model Y can become not just a category leader, but also the best-selling vehicle of any kind globally,” the company told investors.
With the strong performance of those two, production of the 2021 Model S — the vehicle that really started it all — “should start very shortly.” Officials noted that production of the Model Y production rate in Shanghai continues to improve and “two new factories — Berlin and Texas — are making progress. There is a lot to be excited about in 2021.”