Tesla’s (TSLA.O) quarterly report on Monday hit targets qualifying Chief Executive Elon Musk for two options payouts worth a combined $11 billion.
The influential Model Y compact sport-utility vehicle, as well as strong demand in China, have helped the Silicon Valley automaker achieve record sales. The company has also benefited from governments around the world pushing to phase out gasoline-powered vehicles, including by incentives in some cases.
On a Monday investor call, Chief Executive Elon Musk said, “We’ve seen a real change in consumer understanding of electric vehicles, and our demand is the strongest we’ve ever seen.”
Tesla announced on Monday that sales in the first quarter increased by 74 percent year over year to $10.4 billion. The organization made a $438 million profit, up from $16 million the previous year. According to FactSet’s survey of analysts, Wall Street expected the company to report revenue of around $10.5 billion and net income of around $509 million for the January through March period.
Tesla said it delivered 184,877 vehicles in the first three months of this year, which is more than double the amount delivered a year ago. The business, which delivered nearly half a million vehicles in 2020, has stated that it expects that number to increase by more than 50% this year.
The company’s financial performance has been good so far this year, despite difficulties on other fronts. The deadly fiery crash of a Model S sedan earlier this month in Texas is being investigated by federal auto safety authorities.
According to local authorities, neither of the victims was identified in the driver’s seat. The accident is being investigated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which is one of more than two dozen inquiries into Tesla vehicle accidents.
The accident raised concerns about whether or not the car could have operated without a driver in the seat.
Tesla is cooperating with local and federal officials to determine what happened, according to a Tesla executive.
The car’s steering wheel was found to be deformed, he said on the call, “leading to the possibility that someone was in the driver’s seat at the time of the crash.” He didn’t elaborate about how the organization arrived at that conclusion. He said that after the accident, all of the seat belts were discovered to be unbuckled. Tesla was unable to retrieve data from the memory unit in the vehicle.
According to the executive, Tesla collaborated with authorities on a report in which the corporation attempted to simulate the most possible crash scenario. A driver assistance feature that assists with steering did not participate in the test, according to the company, while adaptive cruise control only enabled when a driver was buckled in and driving at speeds greater than 5 miles per hour.
The constable in charge of the precinct where the crash occurred, Mark Herman, refused to comment on Tesla’s assertion that someone was possibly in the driver’s seat at the time of the crash, stating that the incident was still under investigation.
Tesla has also faced parts shortages, which forced the company to close its Fremont, Calif., factory for a brief period in February. Due to a global semiconductor shortage, competitors such as General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co., and Volkswagen AG have had to idle some production capacity.
“We were able to maneuver through global chip supply shortage issues in part by pivoting extremely quickly to new microcontrollers,” the company said in a note to shareholders, adding that it was also developing new applications for new suppliers’ chips.
According to Mr. Musk, the previous quarter “had some of the most challenging supply chain problems we’ve ever faced.” He said that these go beyond computer chips. He explained that development in China was halted because key engineers were unable to fly there due to quarantine restrictions related to Covid-19.