Tesla delivered nearly 1 million EVs in 2021

Tesla’s 2021 sales success lasted until the end of the year. The company has revealed that it will have delivered 936,172 electric cars in 2021, of which about 308,600 in the fourth quarter. While that’s not the magical $1 million figure the company had hoped for, it’s close — and nearly double the 499,550 Tesla handed over to customers in 2020.

Last year wasn’t great for the Model S and Model X. Shipments of those more expensive vehicles fell by more than half in 2021, from 57,039 cars to 24,964. That wasn’t a complete shock, though, as many customers wanted (or had to) wait for S and X refreshes that wouldn’t ship until spring, including the high-end Plaid variants.

Delivery numbers are significant given chip shortages that have plagued the auto industry and even led Tesla to ship some cars without USB ports. The company is also poised to continue growing between the planned launch of Cybertruck in 2022 and new factories in the Austin and Berlin regions.

However, this route is not guaranteed. Tesla had a mixed 2021 with product delays (including the Cybertruck and Semi), gradual price increases and a series of recalls, including one in December that targeted half a million vehicles with camera and trunk faults. There are concerns that Tesla’s growing reputation for build quality issues could weigh on the company. That also rules out competitive threats – Tesla will have to fend off Ford’s F-150 Lightning, the Cadillac Lyriq, the Mercedes EQA and other EVs from major rivals. Elon Musk’s outfit is in a good position given its existing achievements, but the market could change quickly.

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