The carmaker continues to defy expectations as Q1 financial results are announced.
Tesla has just released its first quarter of 2021 financial results and hopefully you're sitting down. In short, demand is higher than ever. It posted a $438 million net income thanks to record-high global deliveries and increasing consumer acceptance of electric vehicles in general. Total revenue came to almost $10.4 billion, beating the estimated $10.3 billion earnings expectation. All the more impressive is that this happened when there were delivery issues of the revamped Tesla Model S and Model X. Only 2,030 of them have been delivered so far, which is 89 percent fewer than Q4 2020. Total deliveries reached nearly 185,000 cars in Q1 - more than double from the same time last year.
"Q1 2021 was a record quarter on many levels," Elon Musk said on an earnings call. "We've seen a real shift in customer perception of electric vehicles, and our demand is the best we've ever seen."
Bear in mind Tesla currently has two new factories under construction, one outside of Austin, Texas that will build the Cybertruck, and a second near Berlin, Germany tasked with Model 3 and Model Y production for Europe. Musk further said he thinks the Model Y is "quite likely" to be the "best-selling car or truck of any kind in the world" next year. Model Y production takes place in California and Shanghai, China.
Tesla also made a $101 million profit after selling some Bitcoin. In January, it announced the purchase of $1.5 billion of the digital currency. Tesla's chief financial officer reiterated the company's belief that investing in cryptocurrency will continue to pay off. It has $17 billion of cash on hand.
All told, Tesla is now worth around $700 billion. These Q1 financial and delivery figures should put to rest any doubt the EV automaker's market strength. It's the real deal. The only real downside to this report is the Model S and Model X delivery delays. Musk admitted there are "more challenges than expected" and there was "quite a bit of development" to guarantee their batteries are safe. Model S deliveries will fully get underway in May and the Model X sometime this summer or early fall.
As far as the semiconductor chip shortage goes, Tesla has weathered the storm extremely well by switching to new microcontrollers and has developed "firmware for new chips made by new suppliers."