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Tesla made an annual profit of $12.6 billion in 2022

High operating margins and good sales growth are responsible, Tesla says.

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Enlarge / Elon Musk had plenty of headaches in 2022 but Tesla making money wasn’t one of them. (credit: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

Tesla published its financial results for the fourth quarter of 2022 on Wednesday afternoon. The company brought in $24.3 billion in revenue, a 37 percent increase on Q4 2021. Automotive revenues accounted for the lion’s share—$21.3 billion, a 33 percent increase from Q4 2021. That translated to $3.7 billion in net profit once generally accepted accounting practices (GAAP) were applied—an impressive 59 percent increase from Q4 2021.

That means Tesla had an excellent 2022, despite missing its sales forecast. Automotive revenues grew by 51 percent compared to 2021, bringing in $71.5 billion. Total revenues were up by the same percentage year-over-year at $81.4 billion. Operating expenses accounted for $7.2 billion, and once GAAP was applied, Tesla ended the year with a net profit of $12.6 billion. Free cash flow dropped by 49 percent to $1.4 billion.

Tesla recognized revenue for its highly controversial “Full Self Driving” assist this year after making the beta open to all Tesla owners—provided they paid $15,000. However, despite CEO Elon Musk’s claims that the financial future of the company depends upon FSD, in 2022 that only translated to $324 million. Tesla’s financial presentation does claim that “we expect to recognize nearly $1 billion of deferred revenue that remains for such customers over times as software updates are delivered.” Elsewhere in its financial presentation, it claims that there are approximately 400,000 FSD users in the US and Canada.

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