Tesla is now making more money than General Motors and Ford. A recent article in The Street highlighted this Tesla achievement, noting that the world leader in EVs is taking trophies won by both GM and Ford for decades.
The article commented that although everyone knows the path forward is electrification, other than Tesla, it’s still difficult to predict which carmakers will be the winners. But even as we wait for that answer, Tesla breaks new ground in the record books.
For the longest time, GM and Ford have been the kings of this industry. However, that is no longer true. Yes, they still sell more vehicles than Tesla and rake in more revenue than Tesla, but they no longer make more in profits. The article analyzed the three companies’ Q1 2022 profits.
Tesla reported $3.31 billion in net profit, which is a 658% jump from Q1 2021, when Tesla had earned $438 million in net profit.
Meanwhile, in Q1 2022, GM recorded a net profit of $2.93 billion. This is down just over 3% from Q1 2021. As you can see, it’s also $380 million less than Tesla.
Unfortunately for Ford, which is more or less focused on attacking Tesla publicly (even I’ve been yelled at on Twitter by some of their top guys), the company has gone into the red. The Street noted that CEO Jim Farley announced a net loss of $3.1 billion from January to March 2022. During this time last year, Ford had a net profit of $2.3 billion. However, the article noted that Ford pointed out these losses were due to its investment in Rivian, so it was not a normal quarter or a harbinger of Ford’s future finances.
Tesla Focuses Expenditures On R&D Rather Than Advertising, And It’s Paying Off
Tesla doesn’t play the ad game, unlike all other automakers, which speaks volumes about its leadership and products. I’ve written about this twice before, but it seems to be an under-talked-about topic for the most part.
In a recent study, Ford spent $1,186 on research and development (R&D) per car sold. GM spent $878. Tesla spent the highest amount, which was $2,984. Tesla is proving that R&D investment matters. Tesla also did the impossible during this year’s Super Bowl game. Although a few competitors took out ads to take shots at Elon Musk and Tesla, Tesla didn’t pay for any Super Bowl ads. Yet, on Super Bowl Sunday weekend, Tesla had a huge jump in sales. Tesla sales skyrocketed between the 12th and 14th of February — the 13th was game day.
The Street pointed out that Tesla becoming the most profitable American automaker despite delivering fewer vehicles than Ford and GM was “striking.” It definitely is, but many people also predicted this.
During Tesla’s Q1 2022 earnings call, CEO Elon Musk spoke of how excited he was for Tesla’s future. He also added that the company is growing rapidly every year and that he expects it to exceed 50% annual growth for the next several years.
“We’re growing very rapidly year over year, and remain confident of exceeding 50% annual growth for the foreseeable future for basically several of the next years.
“And, basically, the future is very exciting. I’ve never been more optimistic or excited about Tesla’s future than I am right now.”
The last two titles Tesla could take from Ford and GM according to The Street are that of the #1 American automaker in terms of revenue and in terms of vehicles produced and delivered per year. For now, GM is the owner of both of those, followed by Ford. It’s only a matter of time.
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