Tesla shrugs off pandemic as sales hit new record

Tesla has recorded a fifth quarter in a row of profit, as sales of its electric cars accelerated to a new record despite the pandemic.

The firm said it made $8.7bn in revenue in the three months to September, as deliveries rose 54%.

The firm said it still hoped to meet its goal of delivering more than 500,000 vehicles this year but warned this had “become more difficult”.

Analysts also warned the firm faced mounting competition.

So far, Tesla has delivered fewer than 320,00 cars to customers this year – but nearly half of those – 139,593 – came in the three months ended 30 September.

That was up 54% from the prior quarter and 44% year-on-year.

This helped lift the carmaker to a quarterly profit of $311m – more than double what it made during the same period last year.

The firm’s successful streak – at a time when many other automakers have been hit by the pandemic – has not gone unnoticed by investors who spent years lamenting the firm’s lack of profits.

Shares in the firm have more than quadrupled in value since the start of the year – and climbed higher in after-hours trade on Wednesday.

Mounting competition

The firm now boasts the highest market value of any carmaker in the world – despite selling far fewer vehicles than older rivals such as Toyota.

Nicholas Hyett, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said that while the firm enjoyed “significant first mover advantage” in the electric car market, it faced mounting competition.

“As the world’s most valuable car company by market capitalisation Tesla’s current [share] price builds in a massive eventual market share.

“Fending off companies that have been manufacturing cars at industrial scale for years, as well as overseas start-ups, will be a big ask when the giants of the industry start to put R&D budgets to work on closing the electricity gap.”

Tesla has unveiled a host of ambitious plans recently, including starting production of its own batteries, as it prepares to face increased competition from other carmakers, many of which are increasing their focus on electric offerings.

It hopes to start production at its new factory in Europe, outside of Berlin, in 2021, it said.

– BBC

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