The parking lot of Tesla's Shanghai factory was full of new cars in October 2020.
Enlarge / The parking zone of Tesla’s Shanghai manufacturing unit was full of recent automobiles in October 2020.

Costfoto/Barcroft Media by way of Getty Pictures

Tesla smashed previous production and delivery records within the fourth quarter of 2020, delivery greater than 180,000 automobiles to prospects over the past three months. That is 30 p.c larger than Tesla’s Q3 deliveries, which itself was a file determine for the corporate.

For 2020 as an entire, Tesla delivered 499,550 automobiles to prospects. That is 36 p.c larger than the 367,500 automobiles Tesla delivered to prospects in 2019.

Tesla did not fairly hit the corporate’s self-imposed goal of half 1,000,000 deliveries for the 12 months. However the miss is actually a rounding error and Tesla’s 2020 efficiency remains to be fairly spectacular. The pandemic made 2020 an unusually difficult 12 months for the auto business. Tesla’s Fremont manufacturing unit—like these of most opponents within the US—was closed between late March and mid-Might.

We are able to count on Tesla to ship many extra automobiles in 2021. At its This fall charge of 180,000 automobiles per quarter, Tesla ought to be capable of ship greater than 720,000 automobiles from its Fremont and Shanghai factories in 2021. On prime of that, Tesla is aiming to carry new factories on-line in Texas and Germany in 2021. Whereas it may not be possible for Tesla to provide 1,000,000 automobiles in 2021, it needs to be simply in attain for 2022. Elon Musk has said he goals to have Tesla producing 20 million automobiles a 12 months by the top of the last decade.

Tesla must broaden quickly to justify its astronomical inventory worth. Tesla’s present inventory worth values the corporate at greater than $600 billion {dollars}, way over another automaker. That although business leaders like Toyota, Volkswagen, and GM every produce thousands and thousands of automobiles per 12 months, whereas Tesla produced fewer than half 1,000,000 final 12 months. Wall Road is seemingly betting that Tesla will develop right into a colossus whereas having fun with fatter revenue margins than the incumbents. Tesla will want much more than 4 factories to fulfill these excessive expectations.

Whereas Tesla’s car shipments have been rising general, gross sales of the corporate’s high-end Mannequin S and Mannequin X continued to stoop in This fall. These automobiles have not had a major refresh in years, giving customers little motive to pay a premium for them over the newer Mannequin 3 and Mannequin Y. Tesla delivered 18,920 of those high-end automobiles in This fall 2020, down from 19,450 in This fall 2019 and means down from 27,550 automobiles in This fall 2018.

That pattern could reverse later this 12 months with an expected refresh of the Mannequin S. Tesla additionally has a number of new automobiles within the pipeline. Tesla’s Semi truck, the Cybertruck pickup, and a brand new Roadster sports activities automotive are all scheduled to start manufacturing in 2021—although it appears doubtless that one or two of them will not really debut till 2022. The expanded product line ought to enable Tesla to proceed boosting manufacturing with out worrying about saturating the market.



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