Tesla has just reported first quarter car production and delivery numbers for 2021. It produced 184,800 cars and delivered 180,338 cars in total.
According to estimates compiled by FactSet on April 1, analysts expected Tesla to deliver around 168,000 vehicles during this period. All the electric vehicles it produced were Model 3 sedans and Model Y crossover SUVs, though it also produced 2,020 Model S sedans and Model X SUVs.
Elon Musk's operations during the quarter ended March 31, 2021 were affected by a fire at its Fremont, California factory, temporary closures that Tesla attributed to part shortages, a broader chip shortage in the industry, port capacity issues and the ongoing pandemic.
During the same period a year ago, with the new coronavirus spreading around the world, Tesla reported it produced 102,672 vehicles and delivered 88,400 vehicles.
The production of its crossover SUV, the Tesla Model Y, started as of January last year in earnest with deliveries starting in March 2020. At the time, Tesla deliveries- the closest approximation to the sales numbers reported by Model 3 and Model Y- amounted to approximately 86% of total deliveries.
With the introduction of the Model Y to its menu, and production at its Shanghai plant, the first plant built outside of California, Tesla helped grow sales in 2020 by approximately 36% compared to 2019. At the most recent earnings call, CFO Zachary Kirkhorn said that in 2021: Specifically for Q 1, our volumes will have the benefit of early Model Y ramp in Shanghai.
X production will be low due to the transition to the newly re-architected products, however. At an annual shareholder meeting in 2020, CEO Elon Musk told shareholders he expected deliveries to hit an implied range between 477,750 and 514,500 cars for the year.
Tesla hit the midrange of that window and commissioned 499,550 cars for the year, its best sales volume to date. Musk and Kirkhorn declined during the call to give specific guidance for delivery of 2021, but said that they would offer more clarity in the second quarter.
Kirkhorn said on the call: We continue to expect a long-term volume CAGR of 50%, of which we may materially exceed this in 2021. This goal was reiterated on the same call by Tesla's then president of Automotive Jerome Guillen. Why not: Fans and critics alike will be watching to see whether new electric vehicles hitting the market will begin to erode Tesla's lead in the category or more from the sale of internal combustion engines and hybrid vehicles. Startups and big automakers are also introducing more EV models than ever before.
On 29 March, Philippe Houchois reduced its price target for Tesla from$ 775 to$ 700, with the analyst Jeffries writing in a note: Legacy-free 30- 50% net growth and 2- digit margin potential still support high multiples but Tesla is no longer unique as an EV play with preferred access to capital. Some of the edge started to erode, but only slowly and Tesla still leads on multiple fronts, from software to design-to-manufacturing, speed of execution and direct selling.