Tesla deliveries surge 87% in 2021, smash quarterly record

Tesla Inc. delivered more than 308,000 vehicles in the fourth quarter, blowing away analysts’ expectations, and saw deliveries surge about 87% in a year that saw the electric-vehicle maker top $1 trillion in market cap for the first time.

In a statement Sunday, Tesla TSLA, -1.27% said it delivered more than 936,000 vehicles in 2021 — 911,209 of which were Model 3 sedans and Model Y SUVs. That’s almost double 2020’s totals, when it delivered about 500,000 vehicles. Tesla added that its final delivery numbers are slightly conservative, and may rise slightly after final calculations are made for its fourth-quarter earnings earnings announcement.

Wall Street consensus was for fourth-quarter deliveries of about 266,000 vehicles, with some bullish analysts predicting numbers between 275,000 and 289,000.

“This was a ‘trophy case’ quarter for Musk & Co. with massive momentum moving into 2022,” Wedbush analysts Daniel Ives tweeted Sunday.

The increase in production and deliveries was even more impressive considering the chip shortage and supply-chain problems that plagues auto makers in 2021. The Wall Street Journal has reported Tesla’s in-house software engineering helped make it more agile than its rivals at adjusting to the chip shortfall.

“Great work by Tesla team worldwide!” Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk tweeted Sunday. He later tweeted: “Let’s make the roaring 20’s happen!”

Tesla stock rose about 50% in 2021, and has rallied 36% over the past three months despite a roughly monthlong selloff as Musk sold about 10% of his stake in the company, while exercising even more stock options.

After topping $1 trillion in market capitalization for the first time in October, it briefly fell below that level during the selloff, but rejoined that exclusive club in December. As of Dec. 31, the company was valued at about $1.06 trillion.

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