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The last seven months have been tough for a lot of businesses, including many automakers — but not for Tesla.
The electric vehicle maker just announced that it delivered 139,000 cars, a record number, in the third quarter, which analysts say bodes well for its quarterly earnings, scheduled to come out Wednesday.
“Tesla has done really well even despite the pandemic,” said Michelle Krebs of Autotrader.
One reason is that Tesla sells cars directly to consumers. Even before the pandemic, it was easy to buy a Tesla from home.
“You could order over the internet in the course of two to three minutes,” said Daniel Ives of Wedbush Securities.
So when many dealerships had to close for a while during the pandemic, it didn’t hurt Tesla the way it did other car makers.
The company has also been selling and delivering a lot of cars outside the U.S., in Europe, and particularly in China, where demand has “skyrocketed,” Ives said. “China has really been a linchpin to this Tesla success story over the last year.”
Sales have been rising in Europe, too, where there are a lot of government incentives for people to buy electric vehicles, but China’s economy — and car sales — have “really bounced back after the pandemic,” Krebs said. “And it is the biggest EV market in the world.”
Tesla has dominated the electric vehicle market for a while. But that could be changing, as demand for electric cars rises, and more traditional automakers — like Ford, Volkswagen and General Motors — make a bigger play to get into the market, according to analysts.
“The big challenge for Tesla is that they have a lot of competition coming,” Krebs said. “For the past 10 years, they haven’t had much in the way of competitors, and the few that have popped up, they have conquered. But there are more and more coming.”
Are states ready to roll out COVID-19 vaccines?
Claire Hannan, executive director of the nonprofit Association of Immunization Managers, which represents state health officials, said states have been making good progress in their preparations. And we could have several vaccines pretty soon. But states still need more funding, she said. Hannan doesn’t think a lack of additional funding would hold up distribution initially, but it could cause problems down the road. “It’s really worrisome that Congress may not pass funding or that there’s information circulating saying that states don’t need additional funding,” she said.
How is the service industry dealing with the return of coronavirus restrictions?
Without another round of something like the Paycheck Protection Program, which kept a lot of businesses afloat during the pandemic’s early stages, the outlook is bleak for places like restaurants. Some in the San Francisco Bay Area, for example, only got one week of indoor dining back before cases rose and restrictions went back into effect. Restaurant owners are revamping their business models in an effort to survive while waiting to see if they’ll be able to get more aid.
How are hospitals handling the nationwide surge in COVID-19 cases?
As the pandemic surges and more medical professionals themselves are coming down with COVID, nearly 1 in 5 hospitals in the country report having a critical shortage of staff, according to data from the Department of Health and Human Services. One of the knock-on effects of staff shortages is that people who have other medical needs are being asked to wait.
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