Tesla had their quarterly investor call this week and the company’s Technoking, Elon Musk gave a positive update regarding deliveries, revenue, and what’s to come this year. The US electric automaker said it had produced and delivered more vehicles in the first three months of this year than compared to any other quarter before.
Musk said that Q1 2021 was a record quarter on many levels achieving record production, deliveries, and surpassed $1 billion in non-GAAP income for the first time. The Technoking stated that “our demand was the best we've ever seen." The Model 3 has so far been the "best-selling premium sedan in the world" and Musk added that it's "quite likely" the Model Y will become the world's best-selling car next year.
Tesla also enjoyed a whopping revenue of $438 million, which includes a generous $101 million from the sale of Bitcoin, as well as $518 million from zero-emission regulatory credits sold to other automakers.
Prior to the investor call, Tesla stock was down nearly 4%, and the reason cited is due to the lack of annual vehicle delivery guidance. But this is because of the semiconductor chip shortage being experienced across the entire automotive industry. Musk disclosed that the semiconductor chip shortage is "a huge problem," although Tesla said it has been able to navigate through this issue by rapidly pivoting to new microcontrollers and developing firmware for new chips made by new suppliers. Both Musk and his Master of Coin, Zachary Kirkhorn said that the supply chain issues would likely remain a challenge for Tesla for the remainder of the year.
The report included the statement:
"Over a multi-year horizon, we expect to achieve 50 percent average annual growth in vehicle deliveries. 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."
The company said it did not produce any of the higher-end Model S sedans or Model X SUVs for the first quarter and it delivered over 2,000 older Model S sedans and Model X SUVs from inventory. Musk said the delayed new version of the company’s Model S sedan will be delivered from May 2021, and Model X deliveries will begin in this year’s third quarter.
THE TEXAS CRASH
It came as no surprise when Tesla was questioned over the fatal crash in Houston resulting in the deaths of two people. Tesla’s VP of Vehicle Engineering said its driver assistance system was not at fault:
“Autosteer did not and could not engage on the road condition as it was designed. 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."
Tesla is still waiting to collaborate with authorities to get additional data from the accident. However, in the meantime, auto lobbyists went to U.S. senators pressing for new vehicle safety standards to cover automated driving systems, and for future driverless vehicles.
Up until now, there are no federal performance standards or regulations that oversee commercial automated driving systems in the US even though they are readily available to consumers. This does not just affect Tesla, but also other manufacturers integrating driver assisted software such as General Motor’s SuperCruise.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal has also openly criticized Tesla and its Technoking for speaking publicly about the crash while investigations are ongoing.