Tesla makes $438MILLION in net profit in record first quarter

Tesla makes $438MILLION in net profit in record first quarter as it stares down federal safety investigations after a string of crashes involving the Autopilot feature

  • Tesla set a new first quarter record with a $438 million in net profit
  • During the first three months of 2021, Tesla said sales jumped around 74 percent compared to this time last year to $10.4 billion
  • The sales spike comes at the same time the company faces federal investigations after a string of crashes involving the Autopilot feature  
  •  CEO Elon Musk got $299 million during the quarter for hitting market value and operational milestones, the company said

Federal safety investigations and highly publicized crashes didn’t stop Tesla from setting a new quarterly record with a $438 million in net profit. 

During the three-month period that ended March 31, Tesla said sales jumped around 74 percent compared to this time last year to $10.4 billion.

CEO Elon Musk got $299 million during the quarter for hitting market value and operational milestones, the company said. 

It sold nearly 185,000 vehicles world, and all but 2,000 of the sales were lower-priced Model 3 sedans and Model Y SUVs.  

But the car company has come under fire recently, specifically for its Autopilot feature, following a rash of crashes going back to last year. 

The crashes resulted in investigations by the National Transport Safety Board and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 

Tesla said sales jumped around 74 percent compared to this time last year to $10.4 billion

During the three-month period that ended March 31, Tesla said sales jumped around 74 percent compared to this time last year to $10.4 billion. Its stock rose about 1.2 percent during daytime trading

CEO Elon Musk got $299 million during the quarter for hitting market value and operational milestones, the company said 

Still, even though its sales rose, the company more recently is facing federal probes based on crashes involving the company’s auto-pilot

The most recent crashed happened a couple weeks ago in Texas when two friends took a new Model S ‘out for a spin,’ and the car veered off of the cul-de-sac and plowed into trees then caught fire. 

No one was in the driver’s seat, according to police, which raised questions over how the car was able to move, let alone speed. 

To engage Tesla’s autopilot, the car must think someone is at the wheel by detecting the weight of their hands on the steering wheel. If it doesn’t, it’ll stop but it can take up to 30 seconds for it to do so. 

But Consumer Reports did its own experiment and showed that the Autopilot system can be ‘easily’ tricked into operating without a driver at the wheel.  

CEO Elon Musk released a statement, via Twitter, two days after the fatal crash saying the data logs recovered from the crashed Model S ‘so far show Autopilot was not enabled.’ 

Two friends died in a Tesla crash in mid April in Texas after the vehicle smashed into a tree and burst into flames with ‘no one in the driver’s seat’ 

In mid-March, a Tesla Model Y hit a patrol car in Lansing, Michigan while driver had the vehicle’s advanced driver-assistance system, known as Autopilot, Michigan state police told the Washington Post.   

Both crashes, and at least three others in recent weeks, resulted in federal investigations, according to the Washington Post.   

Despite the scrutiny, Tesla, delivered nearly half a million vehicles in 2020, said it expects that figure to rise more than 50 percent this year, the Washington Post reported. 

And the company’s stock has been on a tear, rising more than 350 percent over the past year. 

‘The rate of growth will depend on our equipment capacity, operational efficiency and capacity and stability of the supply chain,’ the company said in its quarterly letter to investors.

Factories in Berlin and Austin, Texas, are on track to start producing this year, and the company said production of its Semi will start in 2021. Also, first deliveries of the new Model S should start shortly.

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