Tesla once again reports record numbers, marking the second time it has surpassed $1 billion in net income during a quarter, after achieving it last quarter. The company generated $1.62 billion. The figure is especially spectacular when a year-over-year comparison is made. During the third quarter of 2020 they earned just $331 million.
One of the most important data from Tesla’s Q3 2021 financial results is the 30.5% profit margin on car sales.
Days earlier Tesla announced the delivery of 241,300 electric cars and the production of 237,823 during the third quarter of 2021, an absolute record that puts them on track to deliver one million units annually.
For the time being Tesla still appears to be relatively immune to the microchip crisis and other difficulties the automotive supply chain is currently encountering. In fact the company is manufacturing at full capacity and are not able to assemble as many cars as the market demands. Currently the lead times for most of their vehicles is weeks or months. In the case of Europe, with Model X and Model S you have to wait a year to receive one of these units.
Tesla has circumvented the microchip crisis by taking advantage of the fact that they are not an automotive company, but a hardware and software company. All of the code for all of the software in their cars is done in-house, not just the GUI on their displays, but every driver for every component in their vehicles.
That allows them to modify the firmware needed to run a particular semiconductor or chip and adapt it to use another company’s: especially useful when they detect a component shortage.
That has given Tesla a competitive advantage that no other car manufacturer has. The rest of the industry uses third-party designed or programmed systems and outsourcing. Or they simply don’t have the software teams to react, modify firmwares and use components from another supplier.