Tesla Delivers 139,300 Electric Vehicles in Q3, its Best Quarter Ever

Tesla Delivers 139,300 Electric Vehicles in Q3, its Best Quarter Ever

Author: FutureCar Staff    

Electric automaker Tesla said on Friday that the company delivered 139,300 vehicles in the third quarter, beating its previous record of 112,000 vehicles in Q4 2019. The record deliveries indicate strong demand for its vehicles, despite the impact the global pandemic has on the auto industry.

Tesla's production numbers also increased to 145,036 vehicles in Q3, meaning that Tesla produced more electric vehicles than it delivered in Q3. Whereas in the second quarter, Tesla said it delivered 90,650 electric vehicles but produced 82,272 vehicles, most of them being Model 3s.

Part of the reason Tesla produced fewer vehicles in Q2 was a shutdown of its Fremont, California factory in March due to Covid-19 restrictions. The factory did not get back to full production until mid May.

Deliveries are the closest approximation of sales numbers reported by Tesla, since the company does not report sales figures of individual models or by sales by region. The automaker combines delivery numbers for its Model S and Model X electric cars, as well as for the Model 3 and Model Y vehicles.

The more affordable Model 3 sedan and Model Y crossover comprised about 89% of Tesla's Q3 deliveries, equally around 124,100 vehicles. The more expensive Model S sedan and Model X SUV made up the remaining 11% with deliveries of 15,200 vehicles. 

In an email to employees right before Tesla's annual shareholders meeting on Sept 22, Chief Executive Elon Musk wrote: "We have a shot at a record quarter for vehicle deliveries, but will have to rally hard to achieve it. This is the most number of vehicles per day that we've ever had to deliver."

Despite Tesla's record delivery numbers, the automaker's stock is down 5% on Friday after President Donald Trump announced that he tested positive for Covid-19, which resulted in a border market selloff.

Musk's goal was to deliver 500,000 vehicles in 2020 and the company has not changed that guidance. The ambitious goal is still achievable if Tesla's can extend its sales momentum into the final quarter of 2020. However, in financial filings, Tesla stopped saying it would "comfortably exceed" 500,000 deliveries this year.

So far this year, Tesla delivered 318,350 vehicles, so the company still needs a very strong Q4 to hit its targets.

On Sept. 22 during Tesla's annual stockholder meeting, Chief Executive Elon Musk said vehicle deliveries would likely rise 30% to 40% versus 2019. That forecast implies deliveries of 477,750 to 514,500 cars in 2020, which is in line with Tesla's previously stated goal to deliver half a million cars in 2020.

In July, Tesla cut the price of its latest vehicle the Model Y crossover in the U.S. by $3,000 to boost sales and canceled plans for a lower-priced standard-range version of the SUV.

Tesla's production capacity is also much higher than it was last year, now that its Shanghai gigafactory is up and running. Tesla began delivering the first China-made Model 3s to customers in December of last year.

Tesla's Shanghai factory has the capacity to produce up to 200,000 vehicles a year, the company's vice president of foreign affairs in China, Grace Tao, said in a press interview with Xinhua News Agency in May.

Tesla sold nearly 12,000 vehicles in China during the month of August and just yesterday the automaker cut the price of its Model 3 in China this week by 8% to help increase sales. Tesla sales in China, which is the world's biggest auto market, were relatively flat all year.

With possible excess capacity at the Shanghai factory, Tesla is planning to export some of its made-in-China vehicles to Europe. Previously, Tesla only exported vehicles built in Fremont, California to customers in Europe. 

With Tesla now the world's most valuable automaker, the company is under pressure from investors to maintain its profitability and maintain its strong sales numbers after a record quarter.

Tesla is also counting on steady demand for its electric vehicles going forward, which could be a problem now that rival automakers are giving Tesla competition that the company never faced before.

In July, Tesla reported its fourth consecutive profitable quarter for the first time in its history.

FutureCar Staff
FutureCar Staff
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