Austin, Texas — On Wednesday, Jan. 25, Tesla held its quarterly conference call for investors and analysts. The electric vehicle manufacturer announced that the all-new Cybertruck will go into production sometime this summer. In addition, the company says it will build as many as 2 million EVs this year.
In the fourth quarter, Tesla produced over 439,000 vehicles and delivered over 405,000 vehicles. In 2022, vehicle deliveries grew 40 percent over last year to 1.31 million while production grew 47 percent year-over-year to 1.37 million.
For the fourth quarter of 2022, the company announced revenue of $21.45 billion, an increase of 56 percent from a year ago. Tesla reported its net income was $3.29 billion for a profit margin of 15.34 percent. Analysts predicted its earnings per share would come in at 1.11. However, the actual earnings per share was 1.19, an increase of 7.28 percent.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk says the company has the capacity to build about 2 million EVs this year. However, he expects that number will be closer to 1.8 million.
“The underlying demand globally for Tesla’s products remains strong, and could support that figure,” said Stephanie Brinley, associate director of research and analysis at S&P Global. “Musk’s confidence that Tesla sales in 2023 will only be limited by production capacity seems well founded at this stage. Our forecast is for the lower end of that range.”
One of the investor questions was about the Cybertruck. We’ve been hearing about it for years now. When will production begin?
“We do expect production to start, I don’t know, maybe sometime this summer,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk said. “But, I always like credit downplay at the start of production, because the start of production is always very slow. It increases exponentially, but it’s always very slow at first. So I wouldn’t put too much stock in start of production. It’s kind of when does volume production actually happen, and that’s next year.”
Drew Baglino, senior vice president of powertrain and energy engineering at Tesla, added: “Like just to emphasize on that, we’ve started installation of production equipment here in Giga Texas: castings, GA, general assembly, body shops. We built all our beta vehicles, some more coming still in the next month, but as you said the ramp will really come 2024.”
“Tesla also noted that volume production for the Cybertruck will not occur until 2024; while getting it into production is the first step, its impact will be felt as production ramps up,” Brinley explained. “It will be Tesla’s first real head-to-head test against traditional OEMs, with Ford and GM trucks available and the Ram relatively soon after. The Cybertruck, however, takes a notably different approach to truck design language. It will be interesting to see the real-world customer reaction. The domestic truckmakers also have a current advantage with the depth of their commercial truck businesses; Cybertruck is likely to be a largely retail product.”
The electric vehicle maker was also asked if it will be able to take full advantage of advanced manufacturing production credits for battery cells/packs ($3,700 per Model 3 and Y at $45/kWh for 82 kWh pack)?
“And so as we’re thinking about our pricing changes in the US, a couple of weeks ago that we announced,” Tesla chief financial officer Zach Kirkhorn continues, “We were looking at what the credit benefit to Tesla would be to make sure that customers are able to receive the benefit not only from this that were received to some extent but also on the consumer-facing side, which is currently $7,500 per car of tax credit, assuming that — subject to the MSRP caps and the income caps. So we want to use this to accelerate sustainable energy, which is our mission and also the goal of this bill.”
Musk also talked about his purchase of Twitter and how automakers can use it to promote their products.
“I think Twitter is a powerful tool for driving demand for Tesla,” the CEO said during the earnings call. “I really encourage companies out there of all kinds—automotive or otherwise—to make more use of Twitter and to use their Twitter accounts in ways that are interesting and informative and entertaining. It will help drive sales as it has with Tesla.”
Company officials also discussed Tesla Insurance, which is available in select states across the country. It has played a major role in the company’s revenue growth.
“So, we’re currently at a $300 million annual premium run rate as of the end of last year,” said Zach Kirkhorn, chief financial officer at Tesla. “We’re growing 20 percent a quarter, so it’s growing faster than the growth in our vehicle business. And in the states in which we’re operating, on average, 17 percent of the customers in the states are using a Tesla Insurance product. And that number continues to tick up as we spend more time in markets.”
Tesla will host its 2023 Investor Day on March 1 from its headquarters in Austin, Texas. That’s when the company is expected to announce future products and more details about the Cybertruck.