Tesla shares surged on Monday after the electric-car maker smashed its own production and delivery records in the final months of last year.
The company shrugged off supply chain problems and other issues to hand customers the keys to more than 308,000 vehicles in the fourth quarter, sending its stock up as much as 10 per cent in early trading.
The blowout figure, announced on Sunday, capped a year in which Tesla broke through bottlenecks and rapidly scaled up production at a plant in China to come close to reaching 1m annual vehicle sales.
Growing confidence that the carmaker could overcome its persistent growing pains while also achieving comfortable profit margins lifted its stock market value by one-third in 2021, to more than $1tn.
The jump in the shares on Monday drove Tesla’s market value to $1.15tn.
Tesla’s fourth-quarter deliveries came in at about 40,000 higher than Wall Street analysts’ mean estimate, according to FactSet. The strong performance put its total deliveries for 2021 at 936,172, up from 499,550 the year before.
Semiconductor shortages and other supply constraints hit some carmakers last year, slowing production.
Speaking to investors in October, Zach Kirkhorn, Tesla chief financial officer, said shortages had prevented the company from running its factories at full capacity, and its big jump in production in the first nine months of the year had been “exceptionally difficult to achieve”.
Despite those obstacles, Tesla went on to surpass its own record production volume in the final quarter, with 305,840 new vehicles rolling off its production lines, 68,000 more than in the preceding three months.
The 308,600 new vehicles delivered to customers in the final quarter was 28 per cent higher than the previous record, which was hit in the third quarter. It was also 71 per cent more than in the same period last year.
With two new plants due to start increasing production this year, Wall Street is forecasting another leap in sales, with Tesla’s deliveries expected to reach 1.42m.
That is despite delays to some of the company’s planned models, with volume production of its Cybertruck pick-up delayed until 2023 and no target delivery dates for its semi-truck and a new version of its original Roadster.
Additional reporting by Joe Rennison in New York.