Tesla’s second-quarter profit hit by supply chain and bitcoin issues

Tesla said Wednesday that its second-quarter profit fell nearly a third from its first quarter as shipments slowed due to shutdowns and a shortage of raw materials at the automaker’s Shanghai plant.

Benefit for the quarter was $2.3 billion.Tesla said, up from $3.3 billion in the first quarter, which was a record. Sales fell to $16.9 billion from $18.8 billion in the first quarter.

The automaker has also been hit by the sharp drop in the price of bitcoin. In early 2021, Tesla announced that it had invested $1.5 billion in cryptocurrency. On Wednesday, the company said it had sold about 75 percent of its bitcoins by the end of June.

Compared to the second quarter of 2021, profits almost doubled. But because Tesla is a fast-growing company, investors are more closely monitoring its progress, or lack thereof, from quarter to quarter.

Tesla dominates the global electric vehicle market and is growing, while traditional automakers such as Toyota and General Motors are seeing sharp declines in sales. But the last quarter was bumpy.

Tesla car supplies from April to June fell 18 percent from the first three months of the year, an unusual decline for a company that has posted solid quarter-on-quarter gains in recent years. (Compared to last year, shipments in the second quarter were up 26 percent.)

In China, which accounts for about 40 percent of Tesla’s sales, the company has faced pandemic-related shutdowns at its Shanghai plant and shortages of key parts and materials. Tesla was unable to ramp up production at new plants in Austin, Texas, and near Berlin, as planned.

Elon Musk, Tesla’s chief executive, told interviewers from the company’s fan club last month that the Austin and Berlin factories were “cash ovens“It cost the company billions of dollars with a small number of cars. Tesla’s top priority is to increase their capacity and get the Shanghai plant back to normal, he said.

Tesla said manufacturing in Shanghai rebounded in June, with factories in Berlin and Austin making progress. “We are focused on the record-breaking second half of 2022,” Tesla said in a statement.

The electric vehicle market is becoming increasingly competitive, and traditional automakers are eroding Tesla’s lead. Hyundai, Kia and Ford Motor have gained significant share of the electric vehicle market, while Tesla has lost ground in the US. Tesla held 66 percent of the U.S. electric vehicle market at the end of the second quarter, up from 78 percent in the fourth quarter of 2021, according to data compiled by Kelley Blue Book.