Tesla over the weekend quietly announced that it delivered 11,574 Model S cars to customers over the last quarter. Note that this figure only covers actual delivers to consumers, which is to say that the overall number of orders might actually be much higher. All told, the record represents a new quarterly sales record for the electric car company, just barely squeeqing by its previous sales record of 11,532 vehicles.
Still, Tesla’s most recent quarter looks especially impressive when we look at year over year growth. During the same quarter a year-ago, Tesla delivered 7,785 cars, which is to say that Model S deliveries increased by an incredible 48%. By the time 2015 wraps up, Tesla is anticipating cumulative Model S and Model X deliveries to check in somewhere between 50,000 and 55,000 vehicles. While this is certainly a lofty goal given Tesla’s previous annual record of 33,157 deliveries, the recently released Model X will undoubtedly help bolster already strong sales.
Already backlogged, the Model X is Tesla’s first effort at an SUV. Equipped with a gargantuan windshield and futuristic Falcon Wing doors, Tesla most definitely didn’t play things safe when developing the Model X. Initially introduced all the way back in 2012, mass production was pushed back a number of times due to the engineering challenges involved in making the Model X consumer-ready. And even though Tesla obviously solved those engineering hurdles, it will still take some time for the company to ramp up production. As a result, new Model X orders will not be fulfilled until mid-2016 at the absolute earliest.
Chief Executive Elon Musk, speaking at the Model X unveiling on Tuesday, said the company was starting very slowly with its production and would ramp up over time. He said the new vehicle was difficult to build because of its oversize panoramic windshield, retractable falcon-wing doors and pedestal second-row seats, all of which are unique in the auto industry.
“It will be real slow for the first several weeks and then shoot up toward the end of the year,” the Tesla CEO said earlier in the week.
Thus far, reports indicate that only six Model X cars have been delivered to early buyers, with Google co-founder Sergey Brin and Tesla board member Steve Jurvetson reportedly being amongst them.