Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) will deploy software updates to more than 1 million vehicles in China to allow changes to braking methods and more warnings about using accelerator pedals, the regulator said on Friday. The company recalled several cars in China last year and earlier this month. The action will be free of charge, the U.S.-based electric car maker said.
Tesla’s electric cars feature a sophisticated computer system that processes data from multiple sensors to make decisions and operate the vehicle. The company says it has improved its systems over time to increase reliability.
However, the carmaker has a lot of competitors now in the global electric vehicle market who are trying to catch up with its technology and lower prices. In addition, it has had to deal with a series of problems with its supply chain and production process.
In the third quarter, Tesla-branded products and services sales rose 5% to $1.65 billion. This includes fees from customers powering up their cars at Tesla Supercharging stations, sales of Tesla-branded merchandise, and repairs for cars out of warranty. It also includes revenue from the company’s energy division, which sells backup batteries for home and commercial use and installs solar rooftops.
During the quarter, Tesla added 41 new store and service locations, bringing the total to 728. It also expanded its fleet of mobile service vehicles, which technicians drive to fix customer cars on the road, by 10%.
But the company is still dealing with several issues that have affected its performance. For example, its smallest and most affordable Model 3 sedan has had several delays in its rollout due to production issues. It also competes with legacy automakers who have stepped up their efforts to enter the EV market with game-changing technology, such as autonomous driving and battery breakthroughs.
In a letter to shareholders on Thursday, CEO Elon Musk noted that it had been a challenging period for the company. He also warned investors to prepare for a “challenging year” ahead.
Musk did not elaborate on the challenges but said he would provide more details in an earnings call next week. He also emphasized that the company is focused on improving its efficiency to reduce production costs and deliver more affordable vehicles to consumers.
Despite its many challenges, Tesla remains the clear leader in the global EV market. But the company is increasingly facing competition from challengers, including Ford, General Motors Co (GM.N), Xpeng, and Nio, which are all ramping up their new releases in 2023 to try to grab a chunk of the pie. This could pressure Tesla to speed up its production and delivery schedules to remain ahead of the competition. Nevertheless, the company’s strong brand and innovative technologies will likely allow it to stay on top for some time.