Tesla said Sunday that it sold 343,830 electric vehicles worldwide in the third quarter, a record number even as the automaker faces ongoing production and supply chain challenges.
The company’s sales figures were a 42% increase from the 241,391 vehicles it sold in the third quarter of 2021. Tesla also said it produced 365,923 cars, compared with a year-ago total of 237,823. The automaker opened two major factories earlier this year – one in Austin, Texas, and the other in Germany.
Tesla noted Sunday that as its production has grown, it faced growing difficulties in getting its cars to customers in the final days of the quarter, when its shipments usually rise.
“It is becoming increasingly challenging to secure vehicle transportation capacity and at a reasonable cost during these peak logistics weeks,” the company said in a release.
As electric vehicles have moved from being a niche novelty to the primary mode of transportation for a rising number of people, Tesla has become a towering force in the auto industry. It sells far more electric vehicles than all the other car companies except for rivals in China, the world’s largest market for the vehicles. About one-quarter of all new vehicles that have been sold in China this year have been electric or plug-in hybrid models, and Tesla has invested heavily in the country in recent years.
But COVID-19-related shutdowns and component shortages have recently hobbled operations at the company’s factory in Shanghai. That led to the company reporting a rare slowdown in sales in the second quarter this year.
At the same time, competition in the United States is increasing. Ford Motor has introduced an electric version of its F-150 pickup truck and has taken about 200,000 customer reservations. General Motors next year is set to begin producing an electric pickup truck and two electric sport utility vehicles. Unlike other automakers, Tesla does not break out its global sales by region. The rest of the industry is poised to report their September and third-quarter sales totals for the U.S. market Monday. Analysts are expecting an increase in the pace of sales.
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