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Tesla Delivered Nearly 1 Million Electric Vehicles in 2021


Tesla’s sales success in 2021 continued through the end of the year. The company revealed that it delivered 936,172 electric cars in 2021, of which about 308,600 were in the fourth quarter. While that’s not the magic millionth number the company was hoping for, it’s close — and nearly double the 499,550 Tesla delivered to customers in 2020.

Last year wasn’t perfect for the S and X models. Deliveries of those high-quality vehicles fell by more than half in 2021, from 57,039 cars to 24,964. This wasn’t a complete shocker, though, as many customers wanted (or had to) wait for S and X revamps that weren’t scheduled to ship until spring, including the high-performance Plaid variants.

The delivery numbers are significant given the chip shortage that has plagued the auto industry and has even led Tesla to charge some cars without USB ports. The company is also poised for continued growth between the planned launch of Cybertruck in 2022 and new plants in the Austin and Berlin regions.

However, this path is not guaranteed. Tesla had a mixed 2021 that included product delays (including the Cybertruck and Semi), incremental price hikes and a series of recalls, including one in December that targeted half a million vehicles with defective camera and trunk. There are concerns that Tesla’s growing reputation for build quality issues may weigh on the company. This also rules out competitive threats — Tesla will have to fend off the Ford F-150 Lightning, Cadillac Lyriq, Mercedes EQA and other electric vehicles from big-name competitors. Elon Musk’s clothing is well positioned given its current performance, but the market could change quickly.

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