Tesla’s Musk Calls Chip Shortage ‘Problematic’ Amid Fierce Chinese EV Competition

Election Campaign CDU - Laschet and Musk visit Tesla Factory, Grünheide, Brandenburg, Germany - 13 Aug 2021
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Tesla CEO Elon Musk called out two of the world’s largest auto chip suppliers, saying on Twitter their supply chains were “problematic.”

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“Tesla makes cars for export in first half of quarter & for local market in second half. As publicly disclosed, we are operating under extreme supply chain limitations regarding certain ‘standard’ automotive chips. Most problematic by far are Renesas & Bosch,” Musk tweeted yesterday.

His tweet was in response to Ark Invest CEO Cathie Wood, who commented on a Tesla graph showing lower sales in July, parsing Tesla’s drop in local deliveries of China-built vehicles in July.

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“Tesla seems to understand that China would like local champions to dominate electric vehicles (EV) sales inside the country but is pleased that Tesla is exporting from China high-quality/high-end EVs, especially to Europeans whose standards for fit-finish-design are quite high,” Wood tweeted.

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Tesla sold 32,968 China-made vehicles in July in a slight drop from the June tally, and exported 24,347 China-made vehicles in the month of July, according to Seeking Alpha. Local sales declined 16% in Q2 vs. Q1.

Tesla is facing severe competition from local EV companies such as Nio, XPeng and Li Auto, which has just raised $1.5 billion in its Hong Kong listing to fund research and development and infrastructure expansion, Seeking Alpha reports.

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During an investor call last month, Musk addressed the supply chain issues, noting that “while we’re making cars at full speed, the global chip shortage situation remains quite serious. For the rest of this year, our growth rate will be determined by the slowest part in our supply chain which is a — there’s a wide range of chips that are at various times the slowest part in the supply chain,” according to the transcript of the call.

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Garrett Nelson, vice president of equity research at CFRA Research, said in a note sent to GOBankingRates at the time, that CFRA maintained its Hold opinion on Tesla, “which reflects a valuation we consider fair and concerns over rising EV competition.”

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As of this morning, Tesla’s stock was down 0.55%.

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Last updated: August 13, 2021

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.
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