With record profits, Tesla claims to be able to overcome recent challenges

Tesla’s fourth-quarter revenue rose 37% to $24.3 billion, and net profit rose 59% to $3.7 billion, an all-time high.

Tesla posted record fourth-quarter revenue and, amid growing doubts about the strength of demand for electric cars, is confident that the difficulties are temporary and that orders are flowing.

The group saw its turnover rise 37% to $24.3 billion during the period, while its net profit rose 59% to $3.7 billion. For the whole year, its turnover increased by 51% to 81.5 billion dollars, and its net profit more than doubled to 12.6 billion.

“We know there are questions about the near-term impact of the uncertain macroeconomic environment, particularly rising interest rates,” Tesla said.

But the company is “accustomed to calls”. For now, it is “accelerating its cost-cutting program and targeting higher production rates.” Margins in its auto business have fallen slightly.

Some observers worry that the economic slowdown, rising interest rates that make it more expensive to buy a car, and the arrival of multiple competitors in the electric car market could slow Tesla’s growth.

In 2022, 1.31 million electric cars were delivered

In 2022, the company delivered 1.31 million electric vehicles, a record number and a 40% year-over-year increase. But in the long term, he aimed to increase his deliveries by an average of 50% per year.

On Wednesday, it was more vague about its forecast for 2023, saying it wanted to reach 1.8 million vehicles for the year, without specifying whether it was deliveries or production.

During a conference call, Elon Musk assured that the company could produce 2 million cars unless there are “major disruptions or major problems in the supply chain.”

Some analysts are also concerned that the multi-entrepreneur is sitting at the helm of Twitter, the social network it bought for $44 billion in late October, and not focusing as much on Tesla as it should.

In response to these criticisms, the billionaire said that “Twitter is actually an incredibly effective tool for Tesla’s advertising” thanks to the large number of followers on the platform. The group’s share lost 65% in 2022 before recovering slightly from the start of the year.

To boost sales, the company has slashed prices in recent months, first in China and then in Europe and the US, sometimes by as much as 20%. Some analysts see it as necessary to maintain market share, while others see it as a sign of weakness.

Tesla is betting on its electric truck and its icon

Tesla defended its position on Wednesday, saying that making its cars more affordable is “necessary to become a multi-million dollar automaker.”

Customers have responded positively, orders since the beginning of January have “never been more important” during this period, assured Elon Musk. “We even raised the prices a bit,” he said.

The manufacturer is also hoping to bring the Semi electric truck, whose first model was delivered in December, to market, and especially the Cybertruck pickup truck, which should begin production “this summer.” In 2024, said Elon Musk.

“It’s very positive that Cybertruck is on schedule,” said CFRA analyst Garrett Nelson.

The combination of the recent price drop and the fact that Tesla is eligible for tax credits in the US will “help boost demand and reduce the prospects” of rivals, he said.

After the conference call, after the close on Wall Street, electronic trading rose 4.5%.

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