- ceo elon musk said demand for new teslas is "the best we've ever seen" as the company makes $101 million from bitcoin.
- he also predicted that the model y will become the world's best-selling vehicle "of any kind" in 2022. that would require around a tripling of last year's sales.
- as for the recent model s crash, tesla's vp of vehicle engineering said the car's autosteer feature was not responsible and that, contrary to early reports, there's evidence that someone was in the driver's seat at the time of the incident.
elon musk and tesla hq were slinging positivity during yesterday's quarterly investor call. the electric automaker said it built and delivered more vehicles in the first three months of 2021 than in any quarter ever before. tesla said the model 3 was the "best-selling premium sedan in the world" and ceo elon musk said he thinks it's "quite likely" that the model y will become the world's best-selling car or truck "of any kind" in 2022.
the company had an income of $438 million, including a $101 million "positive impact" from the sale of bitcoin, and $518 million from selling zero-emission regulatory credits to other automakers. that means tesla continues to lose money making and selling vehicles.
its no surprise, then, that the world still has some questions and doubts about tesla. the company's stock is down almost 4 percent as of tuesday morning, april 27, and msn said the reason was "a lack of annual vehicle delivery guidance" caused in part by the semiconductor chip shortage that is causing tesla and almost every other automaker to pause production of some vehicles. musk admitted that the chip shortage is "a huge problem," but tesla said it has so far been able to "navigate through global chip supply shortage issues in part by pivoting extremely quickly to new microcontrollers, while simultaneously developing firmware for new chips made by new suppliers."
"q1 2021 was a record quarter on many levels," musk said. "tesla achieved record production, deliveries, and surpassed $1 billion in non-gaap income for the first time . . . our demand was the best we've ever seen."
tesla said it built 180,338 model 3 and model y vehicles last quarter and delivered 182,780 of them. tesla also delivered 2,020 model s sedans but isn't currently producing any as it gets ready to start deliveries of a new, revamped model s—the one with the yoke steering wheel and up-to-1100-hp, three-motor plaid powertrain—"very shortly."
while the industry's current sales numbers are all a bit unusual due to the pandemic and the chip shortage, musk's statement about the model y topping the sales lists next year needs some scrutiny as well. tesla delivered 442,562 model 3 and model y vehicles in 2020. the company groups them together in its investor reports, but musk's statement that the model y will become the world leader sounds extremely dubious, considering toyota sold 1.2 million corollas worldwide in 2019.
the legal team behind tesla's official investor report are not willing to go as far as musk, either. "over a multi-year horizon, we expect to achieve 50 percent average annual growth in vehicle deliveries," the report said. "in some years we may grow faster, which we expect to be the case in 2021. the rate of growth will depend on our equipment capacity, operational efficiency, and capacity and stability of the supply chain."
another question people on the investor call had for tesla was about a recent crash in texas, which resulted in the death of two people and a number of questions regarding whether or not tesla's driver assistance software was in any way to blame. lars moravy, tesla's vice president of vehicle engineering, said it was not.
"autosteer did not and could not engage on the road condition as it was designed," he said. "through further investigation of the vehicle and accident remains, we inspected the car with ntsb and nhtsa and local police and were able to find that the steering wheel was indeed deformed, leading to the likelihood that someone was in the driver's seat at the time of the crash and all seatbelts, post-crash, were found to be unbuckled."
moravy said the tesla team is waiting to hear from local authorities to get more data from the crashed vehicle.