1664752966 Tesla sells record number of cars but falls short of

Tesla sells record number of cars, but falls short of expectations

Tesla CEO Elon Musk demonstrated a prototype humanoid robot called Optimus at the company’s AI Day on Friday. According to Musk, the robots will cost less than $20,000.

Tesla’s third-quarter sales of its cars and SUVs broke records as the company’s Shanghai plant overcame pandemic-related supply chain issues, but still fell far short of expectations

The electric vehicle and solar panel company said Sunday it sold 343,830 cars and SUVs in the third quarter, compared with 254,695 deliveries from April through June.


FILE: The Tesla corporate logo is seen on the hood of an unsold vehicle at a dealership on Sunday, August 9, 2020 in Littleton, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File/AP Newsroom)

Still, the delivery numbers fell short of Wall Street estimates. Analysts surveyed by data provider FactSet expected sales of 371,000 vehicles.

Tesla said it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find transportation capacity at a reasonable cost when it needs to get vehicles from its factories to its customers. Tesla said it had a higher-than-usual number of vehicles in transit at the end of the quarter, which will count as sales once they’re delivered to customers.


Tesla said it produced 365,923 vehicles in the July-September period. So far this year, the company has delivered 908,573 vehicles, but it will need a strong year-end to meet its projections of 50% annual sales growth for the next few years.

Tesla delivered 936,172 vehicles last year. A 50% increase would be just over 1.4 million for this year.

Automakers, including Tesla, have had trouble getting computer chips and other parts needed to make vehicles. As a result, many factories are below capacity, the supply of vehicles is low and prices are high.

Tesla China

FILE: A Tesla logo is seen in a Tesla showroom. (Portal/Aly Song / Portal Photos)

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, automakers had to close factories for eight weeks to stop the virus from spreading. Some parts manufacturers canceled orders for semiconductors. At the same time, demand for laptops, tablets, and gaming consoles skyrocketed as people stuck at home upgraded their devices.


By the time auto production resumed, chipmakers had shifted production to consumer products, leading to a shortage of weather-resistant, automotive-grade chips. Even though Tesla has outperformed other automakers, the industry still can’t get enough chips.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.