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Tesla's stock is up by almost 2.5x over the last three months, making it the world's second most valuable auto maker, behind Toyota, which in many respects is the benchmark of profitability and efficiency in the auto industry. In this analysis, we compare Tesla's key revenue, margin, and operating metrics with Toyota's.Toyota's automotive revenues stood at about $253 billion in 2019, compared to about $21 billion for Tesla. Tesla's Gross Margins stood at 21% in 2019, down from 25% in 2016, although they remain higher than Toyota's margins of 17%. Tesla's SG&A and R&D expenses, as a % of revenues, are higher compared to Toyota's, although they have been declining at a fast pace, as the company scales up its revenues.Being a more mature business, Toyota remains well ahead of Tesla in terms of manufacturing efficiency, producing more vehicles per employee, while utilizing its fixed assets and inventory more effectively.
Note: Toyota's FY ends March, while Tesla's ends in December. We have excluded numbers from Toyota's financing business for the purpose of this analysis.
#1.1 Automotive RevenuesToyota's automotive revenues stood at about $253 billion in 2019, compared to about $21 billion for Tesla. However, Tesla revenues have grown at a CAGR of over 48% compared to 1% for Toyota.
Tesla Automotive Revenues
Toyota Automotive Revenues
#2. Gross Margins & Operating Expenses
#2.1 Gross MarginsTesla's Gross Margins stood at 21% in 2019, down from 25% in 2016, as the company scales-up production of the lower-priced Model 3. However, it is possible that margins will improve going forward, driven by growing volumes and higher automation.Toyota's margins stood at about 17% in 2019.
Tesla Automotive Gross Margins
Toyota Automotive Gross Margins
#3. Other Operating Metrics
#3.2 Vehicles Delivered Per Full Time EmployeeWe estimate that Tesla has delivered about 9 vehicles per full-time employee over 2019, compared to about 24 for Toyota. (Note that we use total employees for Toyota, including its finance operations)However, Tesla should be able to scale-up this metric meaningfully, given that it has been increasingly automating its production facilities.
Tesla Vehicles Per Employee (Est)
Toyota Vehicles Per Employee