Elon Musk breaks his own record

Chip shortages are holding the world back. Except for Elon Musk.

Seventeen car factories in North America and Europe have halted or reduced production in recent weeks due to shortages of tiny components, according to Seraph Consulting, which is advising automakers on the shortage. The closures affected plants in Michigan, Kentucky, Kansas, Mexico, Canada and Germany.

Tesla sold 241,300 electric cars last quarter, 20% more than the previous quarter. It’s the sixth consecutive quarter that Tesla has broken its own sales records, thanks, in part, to a surge in demand for cars fueled by the pandemic.

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The electric vehicle giant has so far managed to sidestep supply chain problems that forced other automakers to cut production.

As it did?

Tesla is weathering the global chip shortage by rewriting its vehicle’s software to support alternative chips, Musk said.

“We were able to substitute alternative chips and then write the software in a matter of weeks,” Musk said. “It is not just about changing a chip; you also have to rewrite the software. “

“We had a fantastic year, we had record deliveries of vehicles,” Musk said at Tesla’s annual shareholders meeting in Austin, Texas. “It looks like we have a good chance of maintaining that. Basically, if we can get the chips, we can do it. Hopefully this chip shortage will ease soon, but I’m sure I can keep something like at least above 50% for quite some time. “

Musk said he was dealing with “a lot” of supply chain challenges.

“One of the biggest challenges we had in the third quarter was getting enough boats,” he said. “There was a great shortage of ships.”

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Those kinds of improvisations have allowed Tesla to open two new factories in Austin and Berlin, while other automakers have closed plants.

Elon Musk says chip shortages, combined with shipping bottlenecks, could still derail Tesla’s growth.

“We should get over our severe supply chain shortage at 23,” he said. “I am optimistic that that will be the case.”