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Tesla Model S sales fall short of expectations as company makes bold new promise

Tesla Model S Sales

Over the weekend, Tesla quietly released its sales figures for the second quarter of 2016 and the results were somewhat disappointing. By the time the curtain closed on this year’s second quarter, Tesla managed to sell 14,370 vehicles. And while this figure was higher than Tesla’s sales figures during the same quarter a year-ago, the number fell short of the 17,000 figure Tesla initially projected.

DON’T MISS: Tesla is planning a major Autopilot update following fatal crash

Now what’s particularly interesting is that Model S sales only checked in at 9,745 units. The last time sales of the Model S were that low was back in Q4 of 2014 when sales came in at 9,834 units. Obviously compensating for declining Model S sales is the Model X. Despite a number of widely reported quality control problems with Tesla’s crossover SUV, the company last quarter sold 4,625 Model X vehicles, nearly double what it sold during the previous quarter when production truly begin to ramp up.

As to the decline, Tesla said that “5,150 customer-ordered vehicles were still in transit at the end of the quarter” and that these sales would be added to the company’s Q3 tally.

In terms of overall production, Tesla produced 18,345 vehicles during the quarter, marking a 20% increase from the previous quarter. So even though sales from the first quarter to the second quarter remained somewhat stagnant, it’s encouraging to see that Tesla is in fact managing to increase production in a meaningful way. Remember, Tesla has boasted that it plans to produce 500,000 cars by 2020, an ambitious goal to say the least.

Looking ahead, Tesla remains optimistic about its production ramp up in the weeks and months ahead. The company’s press release reads in part:

With continued productivity improvements, Tesla expects output to reach 2,200 vehicles per week in Q3 and 2,400 vehicles per week in Q4. Current order rate trends and backlog support production at those levels. In total, Tesla expects to produce and deliver about 50,000 vehicles during the second half of 2016, approximately equal to all of 2015.

That’s quite a boastful promise and it’ll be interesting to see if Tesla can actually follow through over the next six months.

Numbers aside, Tesla recently made headlines when a Model S with Autopilot engaged crashed into a tractor-trailer, tragically killing the driver in the process. Following the accident, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) said it planning to initiate an investigation and that the accident called “for an examination of the design and performance of any driving aids in use at the time of the crash.”

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 15 years. A life long 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.