Tesla Q4 and FY2022 Earnings Call and Strength in Uncertain Times (Elon Musk’s talk)

Gigafactory Texas. Photo courtesy Tesla, Inc.

Welcome back to my blog. It’s been 12 months since I first rented a shared office space to start “What’s Up Tesla.” I am committed to doing more to support the mission of Tesla and Elon Musk, as the road ahead is long. In the coming year, I’ll keep dedicating time to this blog and to my Podcast as we watch Tesla move with success through uncertain times and prove they are the only OEM that will thrive in 2023 and beyond. 

2022 was Tesla’s best year ever!

Model Y quickly dominated in 2022, becoming a top selling vehicle in the USA, Europe and China. 

  • March 22, 2022 Giga Berlin delivers its first Model Ys and by December 29, 2022 the Model Y ascended to become Europe’s best-selling car
  • April 7, 2022 Giga Texas delivered the first made-in-Texas Model Ys. January 11, 2023 the Model Y becomes the best selling overall luxury car in the USA
  • Tesla Model Y lands firmly into the No. 1 spot in China as the best selling premium SUV in all of 2022 

January 25, 2023: Tesla Q4 and Full Year 2022 Financial Results reveal that Tesla is more than capable of achieving recordbreaking revenue. Tesla has proven that making electric cars is more economical than making combustion engine cars! 

“Q4-2022 was another record-breaking quarter and 2022 was another recordbreaking year. In the last quarter, we achieved the highest-ever quarterly revenue, operating income and net income in our history. In 2022, total revenue grew 51% YoY to $81.5B and net income (GAAP) more than doubled YoY to $12.6B.”    Tesla
“It was a fantastic year for Tesla. It was our best year ever on every level.  Team did an amazing job. It's an honor, of course, to work with such an incredibly talented group of people. So in 2022, we delivered over 1.3 million cars and achieved a 17% operating margin, the highest among any volume carmaker, I think maybe among any carmaker. While doing so, we generated $12.5 billion in net income and $7.5 billion in free cash flow.  Importantly, the Tesla team achieved these records while -- despite the fact that 2022 was an incredibly challenging year due to forced shutdowns, very high interest rates and many delivery challenges. So it's worth noting that all these records were in the face of massive difficulties.  Credit to the team for achieving that.”    Elon Musk  

My view is that 2022 was the year of the Model Y as both Giga Berlin and Giga Texas started production and within months Model Y became a top selling vehicle with no paid advertisements.  Excellent products sell themselves, often through word-of-mouth.

Uncertain economic times will not slow down Tesla

The Q4 and FY2022 Update explains Tesla’s strength in uncertain times.

“In any scenario, we are prepared for short-term uncertainty, while being focused on the long-term potential of autonomy, electrification and energy solutions. Our relentless cost control and cost innovation is why we believe that no other OEM is better equipped to navigate through 2023, and ultimately succeed in the long run, than we are.”    Tesla 

Megafactory Lathrop, Ca – Megapack Final Assembly (Source: Tesla Q4 and FY2022 Update)

“Manufacturing technology will be our most important long-term strength.” – Elon Musk

Tesla allowed us a view into the Giga Shanghai Body Shop.  We see what looks like 10 robotic arms assembling one vehicle body.  This is a demonstration of Tesla’s manufacturing strength that cannot be beat by any other OEM.  This strength is in the USA, Germany and China and wherever the next Gigfactory will be built. 

“We believe we can keep pushing for strong volume growth while retaining the industry's best operating margins. As we mentioned many times before, we want to be the best manufacturer. But really, manufacturing technology will be our most important long-term strength.”  Elon Musk

Gigafactory Shanghai – Body Shop (Source: Tesla Q4 and FY2022 Update)

“The demand for lithium ion batteries is quasi-infinite,” and Tesla has a plan for this!

A close up shot of Gigafactory Texas’ internally produced 4680 cells was shown.  Three batteries undergoing production next to the signage +AXH26 were revealed.  Elon Musk spoke about 4680 production.

“Regarding batteries, production rate of 4680 cells reached 1,000 cars a week at the end of last year, and we're increasing capacity for 4680 cells by another 100 gigawatt-hours as announced at Giga Nevada yesterday.  Our long-term goal is to get to well in excess of 1,000 gigawatt-hours of cells produced internally and continue to use the cell providers. So to be clear, we will continue to use other cell providers. Just that the demand for lithium ion batteries is quasi-infinite and will be for quite some time. So we feel we can scale a lot faster using both suppliers and internally produced cells.  And we've got an amazing plan for making the 4680 cell low cost and high energy density.”  Elon Musk

Gigafactory Texas – 4680 Cell Production (Source: Tesla Q4 and FY2022 Update)

CONCLUSION

  • 2022 was Tesla’s best year ever  
  • Tesla’s ability to control costs in innovative ways is relentless and unmatched by any other OEM. Uncertain economic times will not slow down Tesla 
  • Model Y quickly dominated in 2022, becoming a top selling vehicle in the USA, Europe and China! 
  • Elon Musk said, “Manufacturing technology will be our most important long-term strength.”
  • 4680 cell production will be both internally produced as well as produced by cell providers outside of Tesla because as Elon Musk explained, “the demand for lithium ion batteries is quasi-infinite.” 

Listen to the entire Tesla Q4 and Full Year 2022 Financial Results here. 

Thanks for reading my 56th blog post. I’m looking forward to writing interesting takes on Tesla to share with YOU most Sundays in 2023! I also started a Twitter-only Podcast featuring FSDbeta and special guests. 

By the way, do you recall the Pepsi I found when I was locked out of my shared office space last year?  I still have that Pepsi bottle, just to remind myself not to get locked out and to keep consistently supporting the mission of Tesla to accelerate the transition to sustainable energy. 

Gail Alfar, author. Exclusive to What’s Up Tesla – January 29, 2023. All Rights Reserved. My goal as an author is to support Tesla (the most American vehicle manufacturer) and Elon Musk in both making life better on earth for humans and becoming a space-fairing civilization.

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