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Tesla reports record delivery despite temporary shutdown of China factory

Tesla reports record delivery despite temporary shutdown of China factory

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Tesla delivered 310,048 vehicles in the first quarter of this year, a slight increase from the previous quarter, and up 68 per cent from a year earlier

Tesla Inc on Saturday reported record electric vehicle deliveries for the first quarter, but its production fell from the previous quarter as supply chain disruptions and a China plant suspension weighed.

“This was an *exceptionally* difficult quarter due to supply chain interruptions and China zero Covid policy,” CEO Elon Musk tweeted.

Tesla delivered 310,048 vehicles in the quarter, a slight increase from the previous quarter, and up 68 per cent from a year earlier. Wall Street had expected deliveries of 308,836 cars, according to Refinitiv data.

A truck transporting new Tesla cars from its factory in Shanghai in May 2021. Photo: Reuters

Tesla produced 305,407 vehicles during the January to March period, from 305,840 the previous quarter.

Tesla, the world’s most valuable carmaker boosted sales, navigating the pandemic and supply chain disruptions better than rivals and with its new factory in Shanghai in China driving growth.

But a recent spike in Covid-19 cases in China has forced Tesla to suspend production temporarily at its factory in Shanghai as the city locks down to tests residents for the disease.

Tesla said it sold a total of 295,324 Model 3 sedans and Model Y sport utility vehicles, while it delivered 14,724 Model S luxury sedans and Model X premium SUVs.

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Quarterly deliveries are among the most closely watched indicators for Tesla since they underpin the carmaker’s financial results. The figure is widely seen as a barometer for electric vehicle demand generally, since the Austin, Texas-based company has led the charge for battery-powered cars.

Tesla had said that its delivery count is conservative and that final numbers could vary by 0.5 per cent or more. The carmaker does not break out sales by geography, but the US and China are its largest markets and the bulk of sales were of the Model 3 sedan and Y crossover.

Tesla makes the 3 and Y models, as well as the older Model S sedan and X crossover in Fremont, California. The Shanghai factory produces the 3 and Y models. Tesla recently began delivering Model Ys from a new plant in Berlin and will celebrate the opening of a factory in Austin with a “Cyber Rodeo” event for 15,000 people on April 7.