As UK factories slump

Tesla hits record output despite supply issues

Tesla built nearly a million cars last year

Tesla has posted profits eight times higher than a year earlier as it delivered just short of a million electric cars in a “breakthrough year”.

The company’s annual profit of $5.5bn came in spite of supply chain problems that it expects to continue into this year.

Tesla first made a profit in 2020 and founder Elon Musk said last night that “there should no longer be doubt about the viability and profitability of electric vehicles”.

Revenue rose by 71% to $53.8bn and the company’s quarterly performance for the final three months of the year beat Wall Street expectations.

Tesla said it made a record 936,000 vehicles last year and was aiming to increase production “as quickly as we can” by ramping up production at new factories in Texas and Germany.

The company said it is now demonstrating that electric vehicles can be more profitable than combustion engine vehicles.

Tesla’s output last year was greater than the entire UK car industry which built fewer than 900,000 vehicles, the lowest level since 1956, as factories slowed down or stopped work while scrambling to obtain scarce semiconductors.

Just 859,575 vehicles rolled off UK production lines in 2021, down by about 60,000 or 6.7% from 2020 and 34% below pre-pandemic levels, said the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. The industry built more than 1.5 million in 2017.

Mike Hawes, the industry body’s chief executive, described it as “a dismal year”.

He added: “The impact of the semiconductors really hit home in the last quarter of last year.”

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