Three stock analysts who focus on Tesla told Bloomberg last week they expected total Tesla deliveries for the first quarter of 2017 to total 24,200 cars. They were wrong. Late Sunday, Tesla announced it had actually delivered 25,000 cars — 13,540 Model S sedans and 11,550 Model X SUVs. Combined, that puts Tesla deliveries 69% ahead of deliveries during the same quarter last year.
Tesla produced a total of 25,418 cars in the first quarter — a new record for the company. 4,650 vehicles were reported as being “in transit” at the end of the quarter. Tesla does not count a vehicle as “sold” until it has actually been delivered to the customer with all the paperwork completed. There were around 6,000 “in transit” cars at the end of the fourth quarter of 2016 that were included in the numbers for the first quarter.
There are a couple of things a sharp eyed person could take away from these numbers. One, the number of Model X cars sold is rapidly catching up with the number of Model S sedans. It took Tesla a hellishly long time get Model X production up to speed, but now that it has, the Model X is contributing strongly to the company’s bottom line. Two, Tesla is on pace to meet its objective of delivering 50,000 cars in the first half of 2017 — equaling its total production for all of 2016.
Three, production at the Fremont factory was shut down for about a week last month as the company worked to get the Model 3 line up and running. Tesla now has cars built on that line — known in the industry as “early release candidates” — being test driven in the real world. Regular production is slated to begin July 1, although Elon Musk admits that is an aggressive target.
Musk thinks it is more realistic that the Model 3 line will be running at full speed later this year, but he is one of those people who thinks goals should always be set high to encourage maximum performance. So far, his strategy is working beautifully.
Source: Tesla, Bloomberg