Tesla said on Wednesday profits increased more than sixfold last year to $5.5 billion, the highest total in its 19-year history, as sales continued to rise, particularly in Europe. and in China.
But the automaker warned that supply chain issues stemming from the pandemic would continue to limit production throughout this year.
“Our own factories have been operating below capacity for several quarters as the supply chain has become the primary limiting factor, which is expected to continue through 2022,” the company said.
The automaker said its revenue rose to $53.8 billion in 2021 from $31.5 billion a year earlier. Deliveries increased by 87% to 936,000 cars.
Tesla ended the year with a strong fourth quarter in which revenue rose 65% to $17.7 billion and net income rose to $2.3 billion from $270 million for the comparable period in 2020.
The company generated $4.6 billion in cash in the fourth quarter and ended the year with $17.5 billion in cash.
Tesla said it was continuing to work on its Cybertruck pickup but gave no target date for production. The vehicle was expected to enter production in 2021.
The company’s revenue included nearly $1.5 billion it earned from selling regulatory credits to other automakers, down slightly from a year earlier.
Tesla grew last year despite a shortage of computer chips that limited production from other manufacturers for most of 2021. It was able to mitigate the impact of the shortage by switching to more readily available chip types and by writing new instructions, or firmware, to be integrated into the chip.
In addition to its established factories in Fremont, Calif., and Shanghai, Tesla needs production from new factories it is building in Texas and Germany to sustain its rapid growth. He repeated a previous forecast that he expected sales to grow by around 50% per year on average over the next few years.
“We aim to ramp up our production as quickly as possible, not only increasing production at new plants in Austin and Berlin, but also maximizing production at our established plants in Fremont and Shanghai,” the company said Wednesday. “We believe that competitiveness in the electric vehicle market will be determined by the ability to add capacity through the supply chain and ramp production.”
The company said it hopes to begin shipping Austin-built Model Y compacts to customers. The start of production at the plant near Berlin was delayed due to disputes with German authorities over permits. Tesla had planned to start manufacturing cars at the German factory by the end of 2021.
Tesla dominates the electric vehicle market in the United States, but it should finally face some serious competition this year. Ford Motor, General Motors, Volkswagen and Hyundai have all outlined ambitious plans to bring new electric cars to the United States. Two new electric vehicle producers, Rivian and Lucid Motors, have also just started shipping vehicles designed to compete with Tesla.