Tesla said on 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 percent 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 on 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 a 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-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.
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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 customer reservations for about 200,000. General Motors next year is set to begin producing an electric pickup truck and two electric sport utility vehicles.
Tesla’s sales figures came after the company’s chief executive, Elon Musk, showed off a humanoid robot on Friday that he said Tesla aimed to offer to consumers in three to five years.
The robot, called Optimus, is supposed to be able to handle chores or take over tasks from human workers in factories or other workplaces.
The robot signals that Mr. Musk, who also heads the rocket company Space X and is embroiled in a battle to back out of his offer to buy Twitter, is trying to build a perception of Tesla as an advanced technology company that produces more than electric automobiles.
Mr. Musk has outlined bold plans for electric vehicles several times in the past that Tesla has yet to carry out. For several years, he has said that Tesla would offer a futuristic-looking pickup called the Cybertruck as well as a battery-powered semi-truck. Neither has yet gone into production.
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 United States market on Monday. Analysts are expecting an increase in the pace of sales.
The industry has been slowed for nearly two years by a shortage of computer chips. The shortage has caused disruptions to production at factories around the world.
Ford recently said that it was holding 40,000 to 50,000 mostly completed vehicles that cannot be shipped to dealers because they are missing certain components.