250,000 car deliveries in one quarter can't save Tesla from dwindling revenue

The company is looking at layoffs to counter inflating costs.

Shannon Stapleton / reuters

The supply chain issues that have wracked the rest of the automotive industry for more than a year appear to have finally caught up with Tesla. The EV automaker announced on Wednesday's Q2 investors report that its automotive revenue has declined by more than 13 percent following last quarter's record-breaking mark despite ending the quarter with "the highest vehicle production month" in company history.

Per the company, Tesla produced 258,580 vehicles last quarter and delivered 201,304 of them. During last quarter's investor call, CEO Elon Musk estimated that the company could increase its annual deliveries by 60 percent in 2022. To date, the company has delivered 564,743 vehicles and would need to sell another 935,257 of them by year's end to meet that goal.

This could prove challenging given that the company produced nearly 18 percent fewer vehicles this quarter than last (though still up 27 percent year over year). COVID-related lockdowns shuttered the Shanghai Gigafactory for most of Q2, though ramping production at the newer Austin and Berlin-Brandenburg plants have helped offset the closure. Austin has begun producing vehicles with the company's new 4680 battery cells and the Berlin Gigafactory notched a production rate of more than a thousand vehicles in a single week during the last three months.

"It is worth emphasizing that we have enough 2170 cells to satisfy all vehicle production or the remainder of the year," Musk said. Tesla had generally managed to avoid the supply chain woes that have hamstrung the automotive industry since the start of the pandemic — until now. The MSRP of a Model Y long-range currently sits just under $66,000, that's 30 percent higher than it cost in 2021. Tesla is continuing to focus on "production readiness" for its long delayed Cybertruck, Musk noted during the call, with production starting by "middle of next year."

The company was sure to point out that its total revenue grew 42 percent year over year to $16.9 billion, operating income had improved year over year to $2.5 billion (with an impressive 14.6 percent operating margin) and is currently sitting atop a $18.9 billion pile of cash.

This is thanks in large part to Tesla's liquidating 75 percent of its Bitcoin holdings (worth $936 million) over the past three months. The company invested $1.5 billion in the digital pseudo-currency in February 2021 and sold off a 10 percent stake a couple months later. Tesla's backing of Bitcoin, much as with Musk's pet Dogecoin currency, helped to further mainstream the crypto schemes. Musk reportedly had "a super bad feeling about the economy" in June. "We have not sold any of our Dogecoin," Musk said.