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Tesla’s Model 3 helped anchor the company’s best first quarter in history

Published Apr 2nd, 2020 8:45PM EDT
Tesla Model 3
Image: Ena/AP/REX/Shutterstock

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  • Tesla delivered 88,400 vehicles last quarter, marking the best “first quarter performance” the company has ever had.
  • Tesla’s Model 3 was once again the company’s most popular vehicle, with year over year deliveries increasing by nearly 50%.
  • Model S and Model X deliveries, year over year, essentially remained unchanged.
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Tesla earlier today announced that it produced nearly 103,000 vehicles during the first quarter of 2020. Meanwhile, deliveries for the quarter checked in at 88,400. Put simply, these numbers are remarkable, with Tesla noting that it represents the “best ever first quarter performance” in company history.

As to the delivery breakdown across the company’s product line, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that the Model 3 accounted for the vast majority of deliveries throughout the quarter. Specifically, Model S and Model X deliveries cumulatively checked in at 12,200 units while Model 3 and Model Y deliveries checked in at 76,200 units. And seeing as how Model Y deliveries didn’t even begin until two weeks ago, it’s clear that the Model 3 certainly anchored Tesla’s performance this past quarter.

To put Tesla’s quarter into context, consider that the company during the same quarter a year-ago delivered 63,000 vehicles. That’s an impressive gain of nearly 15% year over year.

Incidentally, Model S and Model X sales during Q1 of 2019 came in at 12,100. In effect, Model S and Model X sales were stagnant year over year. With that said, it’s abundantly clear is that the popularity of Tesla’s Model 3 is what’s taking the company to new heights of success and profitability. Year over year, Model 3 deliveries jumped by almost 50% thanks to strong demand and various improvements Tesla made to the Model 3 production line.

Tesla’s press release reads in part:

PALO ALTO, Calif., April 02, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — In the first quarter, we produced almost 103,000 vehicles and delivered approximately 88,400 vehicles. This is our best ever first quarter performance.

Model Y production started in January and deliveries began in March, significantly ahead of schedule. Additionally, our Shanghai factory continued to achieve record levels of production, despite significant setbacks.

Our net income and cash flow results will be announced along with the rest of our financial performance when we announce Q1 earnings. Our 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. Final numbers could vary by up to 0.5% or more. Tesla vehicle deliveries represent only one measure of the company’s financial performance and should not be relied on as an indicator of quarterly financial results, which depend on a variety of factors, including the cost of sales, foreign exchange movements and mix of directly leased vehicles.

As referenced above, Tesla makes a point of noting that production at its Shanghai factory in China is going incredibly well. What remains to be seen, going forward, is how the coronavirus will impact Tesla deliveries during the second quarter of the year.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.

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