Tesla is starting to motor as profits roll in

Sales at electric-car maker Tesla reached almost $12bn in the second quarter of 2021, nearly double the level of a year ago.

Tesla is roaring ahead, says Lex in the Financial Times. Sales reached almost $12bn in the second quarter, nearly double the level of a year ago, while operating profits tripled to $1.3bn. Tesla “benefited from higher sales volumes and reined in its operating costs”. Tesla also seems optimistic about the future, as it has already announced “robust” deliveries of new vehicles for the second quarter, despite supply-chain problems.

The latest figures suggest that Tesla “has finally joined the grown-ups”, says Antony Currie on Breakingviews. Its pre-tax profit margin of 11% rivals Toyota and General Motors (GM). Still, this doesn’t mean the shares are worth buying. They look wildly overvalued at 115 times forward earnings. Meanwhile, the group is facing growing competition from both “established manufacturers”, such as Volkswagen, Ford Motor and GM, and “young start-ups” such as Lucid. Tesla may have avoided the fate of other electric carmakers, such as Faraday Future, Fisker Automotive and Lordstown Motors, which either went bankrupt or failed to break through, but even CEO Elon Musk accepts that Tesla’s future may not be as rosy as its past, says Io Dodds in The Daily Telegraph. 

He warned against complacency, cautioning that “the seeds of defeat are sown on the day of victory”. In particular, he admitted that Tesla was vulnerable to further supply-chain pressures, while Tesla continues to experience “repeated turbulence” in China due to a series of protests by consumers about “alleged safety errors”.

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