On July 2, local time in the United States, Tesla announced the second quarter car production and delivery data, by the epidemic and the new crown-related factory shutdown and the impact of the supply chain, Tesla's second quarter global delivery of electric vehicles decreased by 18%, which is the first time since Tesla maintained two years of continuous growth in quarterly car deliveries fell back. Tesla delivery hit the "brakes", but also gave competitors the opportunity to catch up.
In the second quarter of this year, Tesla delivered a total of 254,695 electric vehicles, compared to the previous quarter when the company had set a new high of 31,048 deliveries, ending nearly two years of record quarterly deliveries. In the second quarter, Tesla produced about 258,000 electric vehicles. The company said June was the highest month in Tesla's history for producing electric vehicles.
Tesla will report the company's latest quarterly earnings on July 25. Over the past three months, Tesla shares have fallen by more than 37 percent in aggregate, with a current market capitalization of less than $700 billion.
Tesla had projected in its first-quarter earnings release that the company could grow at a long-term average annual rate of about 50 percent, depending on manufacturing capacity and other factors. Musk said at the time, "Car deliveries this year will be up 60 percent over the same period last year." At that rate of growth, Tesla is on track to deliver about 1.5 million electric vehicles this year.
However, in the past few months, under the influence of high inflation and other factors, the global economic situation has shown new signs of recession. Tesla not only needs to struggle with production and supply chain, but also struggles to get rid of the impact of inflation on business costs.
Earlier this month, Tesla again raised the selling prices of some models in the U.S. and China to maintain corporate profits; it has launched a global layoff plan to control operating costs.
Although in dealing with supply chain challenges, Tesla has been regarded as a "model student", the company in the face of serious shortages of automotive chips, the company launched a rapid response mechanism to find a timely alternative, which is the envy of traditional car manufacturers.
Dan Ives, an analyst at brokerage firm Wedbush, expects the outbreak-induced shutdown of Tesla's China mega-factory to affect production of roughly 70,000 vehicles in the quarter. China has played a major role in Tesla's rapid growth in car production, with the low-cost, lucrative Shanghai mega-factory producing more than half of the company's total cars delivered last year.
By June, Tesla's China superfactory capacity had returned to pre-epidemic levels. The company is now planning to further ramp up its Chinese production capacity, and people familiar with the matter said Tesla is on track to reach a level of more than 20,000 cars a week in the second half of the year. Tesla did not respond to this.
To build a global car production network, Tesla has built new factories in Berlin, Germany, and Texas, U.S. But the capacity climb will take a longer process, especially as the supply chain remains tight and the two new factories are still experiencing billions of dollars in losses.
Musk said last month that the Austin, Texas, plant has so far been able to produce only a small number of electric vehicles because of challenges in increasing production of the new "4680" battery, while materials used to make the traditional "2170" battery are trapped in a Chinese port. The Austin, Texas plant has so far been able to produce only a small number of electric vehicles. In addition, the epidemic has also impacted production at Tesla's California plant, as some Chinese-made auto parts are also supplied to Tesla's California plant for vehicle production.
Competitors take advantage of the situation to catch up
The industry is highly concerned about Tesla's ability to continue its growth rate due to a combination of risk factors. Gene Munster, managing partner at venture capital firm Loup Ventures, is cautious about Tesla's prospects, saying the third quarter will be tough for both Tesla and other auto tech companies, mainly because of the risk of a recession.
Stephen Dyer, managing director and head of Asia Pacific automotive industry at Arrow Platinum Consulting in Shanghai, told China Business News: "Auto companies are asset-intensive, which means any drop in sales will quickly 'drown' out their profitability for a while."
He also said that as many companies expect the difficult economic period ahead to last for some time, some have jumped the gun and started reducing their fixed costs, such as cutting labor.
On the other hand, Tesla's share of the global and Chinese electric car market is also expected to decline as startups and traditional automakers promise to offer more new electric vehicles in the future, even if it will be hard for any manufacturer to shake Tesla's position in the near future.
Traditional automakers are also seeing signs of Tesla's slowing growth and are looking to take the opportunity to catch up. Last week, Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess said the issue of boosting volume production is undermining Tesla's competitiveness, and Volkswagen reiterated its goal of surpassing Tesla as the largest electric car maker by 2025.
"Tesla is opening factories and ramping up capacity in China, the U.S. and Germany, and we must seize this opportunity to catch up as quickly as possible." Diess said. Volkswagen has invested more than 52 billion euros in improving battery-powered vehicles and plans to sell about 700,000 electric cars worldwide in the next year, less than half of Musk's goal of delivering 1.5 million electric vehicles in the coming year.