Tesla grew last year despite a shortage of computer chips that affected the entire industry. The company was able to mitigate the impact of the shortage by switching to types of chips that were more readily available. Tesla can make such a change because its software allows its cars to work with a greater variety of chips than other automakers’ vehicles do.
“The chip shortage is still an issue,” Mr. Musk said Wednesday. “We expect to be chip-limited this year. It should alleviate next year.”
In addition to its established factories in Fremont, Calif., and Shanghai, Tesla needs output from plants it is building in Texas and Germany to maintain its rapid growth.
“We aim to increase our production as quickly as we can, not only through ramping production at new factories in Austin and Berlin, but also by maximizing output from our established factories in Fremont and Shanghai,” the company said Wednesday. “We believe competitiveness in the E.V. market will be determined by the ability to add capacity across the supply chain and ramp production.”
How the Supply Chain Crisis Unfolded
The pandemic sparked the problem. The highly intricate and interconnected global supply chain is in upheaval. Much of the crisis can be traced to the outbreak of Covid-19, which triggered an economic slowdown, mass layoffs and a halt to production. Here’s what happened next:
Mr. Musk said Tesla would probably start scouting locations for a new vehicle plant by the end of the year.
The company said it hoped to begin shipping Model Y compacts made in Austin. Production at the plant near Berlin, which had been expected to start by the end of 2021, has been delayed because of disputes with German authorities over permits.
Tesla dominates the market for electric vehicles in the United States, but it is likely to finally face some serious competition this year. Ford Motor, General Motors, Volkswagen and Hyundai have all outlined ambitious plans to introduce new electric cars in the United States. Two fledgling electric vehicle producers, Rivian and Lucid Motors, also have just started shipping vehicles intended to compete with Tesla.