Impressive Results: Tesla delivers 24,500 cars in third quarter, a 111% annual increase
With all eyes on Tesla Motors [NASDAQ: TSLA] surrounding the forthcoming merger with SolarCity, the pressure is on. Many naysayers on Wall Street were hoping that CEO Elon Musk would be far too distracted for Tesla to hit its ambitious targets for vehicle deliveries. Quite the opposite. VentureBeat* reports that Tesla had exceeded expectations and, "delivered 24,500 vehicles, of which 15,800 were Model S and 8,700 were Model X. This is a 70 percent increase from last quarter’s delivery of 14,402 and a 111 percent increase from Q3 2015."
Above: Tesla deliveries impress Wall Street (Source: Microbattery)
According to Tesla, “Our Q3 delivery count should be viewed as slightly conservative, as we only count a car as delivered if it is transferred to the customer and all paperwork is correct.” That being said, 5,500 vehicles are currently in transit and will be counted in Q4. As for production, the company is seeing an uptick in the number of vehicles being built, jumping 37 percent quarterly from 18,345 to 25,185.
Above: Tesla's best quarterly sales ever (Youtube: Wall Street Journal)
For the last quarter of 2016, Tesla said it expects its deliveries and production to be “at or slightly above Q3” and maintains that it’ll have 50,000 vehicles by the end of the second half. Furthermore, VentureBeat reports that this is, "noteworthy because of a letter its chief executive Elon Musk issued to employees in August, where he said: 'The third quarter will be our last chance to show investors that Tesla can be at least slightly positive cash flow and profitable before the Model 3 reaches full production.'"
Above: Chart showing Tesla vehicle deliveries from Q3 2012 - Q3 2016; Note: blue represents Model S and green represents Model X (Source: Electrek)
We'll have to wait for third quarter financials to be released to see if Tesla had a profitable quarter, but, there is more good news. Electrek reports that Tesla, "achieved a record-breaking quarter by delivering almost twice as many Model X SUVs as last quarter and... [achieving] a good quarter for the Model S – the best quarter since Q4 2015... Tesla is now producing and selling vehicles at a rate of roughly 100,000 per year. It’s a 5x increase in capacity over a 3 year period."
Above: Tesla Model X deliveries in China (Source: Electrek)
With Musk's aggressive goals to achieve an extremely accelerated Model 3 production ramp by improving the "machine that builds the machine" — this news certainly shows that the hard work has already begun at the Tesla factory. To that end, Musk's forecast for a 20-fold factory increase in production — if executed — will certainly help the company to achieve the aggressive production ramp needed for the Model 3. With Q3 vehicle deliveries now reported, it's clear the factory (and the Tesla team) are off to a good start.