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A Bonkers Q4 Propels Tesla to a Record $54 Billion in Revenue in 2021

Fourth quarter earnings increased by 65% for the automaker year over year.

Tesla Model S Plaid Tesla

Tesla’s 2021 didn’t disappoint. The electric automaker announced on Wednesday that it turned a record $5.5 billion profit last year, which is six times more than it made in 2020, reports the New York Times. Revenue also increased from $31.5 billion to $53.8 billion year-over-year, as the EV maker delivered a record 936,000 vehicles worldwide.

The company was already on pace for a record year in 2021, but what really put it over the top was a bonkers fourth quarter. Revenue rose by a whopping 65 percent in Q4, to $17.7 billion, which beat analyst estimates by more than $1 billion. Net income, meanwhile, came in at $2.3 billion, compared to $270 million during the same period last year. Tesla also made $4.6 billion in cash, meaning it finished the year with $17.5 billion cash on hand.

The Tesla Cybertruck

The Cybertruck has been delayed until at least 2023  Tesla

Even amid all that good news, there are potential clouds on the horizon for the brand. Tesla warned that it expects supply chain issues to persist through 2022, according to CNBC. Last year, the company was able to able to deal with the computer chip shortage that drastically affected automakers throughout the industry by changing the chips it used. It remains to be seen how long this approach can work, especially since the brand wants to increase sales by 50 percent this year. New factories in Berlin and Austin, Texas, could help it reach that goal, though.

“Our own factories have been running below capacity for several quarters as supply chain became the main limiting factor, which is likely to continue through 2022,” the company said in a statement to investors.

Because Tesla will remain “chip-limited” for at least another year, CEO Elon Musk said the company will not introduce any new vehicles in 2022, including the long-gestating Cybertruck, Roadster and Semi models. Musk’s comment was the first official confirmation that the brand’s eagerly anticipated, battery-powered pickup, which was supposed to go into production last year, had been pushed back until at least 2023. Musk also said that company is not currently working on a $25,000 entry-level EV, despite the fact that he promised such a vehicle at Tesla’s 2020 Battery Day event.

Still, anyway you look at it, Tesla is doing gangbusters. And because of that, we don’t see Musk’s position as the world’s richest person should be safe for at least a few more months.

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