Investor's Corner

Worldwide Tesla Model X deliveries are more important than ever

Model X Active Spoiler and Falcon Wing Doors

Tesla began its delivery of the Model X beyond US borders to customers across Canada, Europe and China towards the end of Q2 which are good indications that the company has finally gotten a handle on the production gremlins that have plagued the introduction of the unique electric crossover. But with the recent Q2 report that Tesla fell short of its quarterly guidance, being able to fulfill deliveries of the Model X couldn’t come at a more important time.

In light of the recent negative events that have continued to beat down the stock, including reports of quality issues the Model X is facing – Tesla recently settled a lemon law suit filed by a Model X owner – the company will need to curb investor skepticism about how much of the Model X will be part of the original equation of delivering 80,000 to 90,000 cars this year. If it can’t, that will put a cloud over its stated plan of building 500,000 cars by 2020.

Daniel Sparks at The Motley Fool reminds us that Tesla CEO Elon Musk once stated that 40% of Q2 production numbers would be the Model X. Q1 saw 16% of deliveries attributed to the Model X after Tesla was plagued by supplier parts shortages, while the most recent quarter saw an uptick to 32% of total deliveries being the Model X. The company delivered 9,745 Model S and 4,625 Model X in Q2.

Though Tesla produced 18,345 vehicles in the second quarter, down from its guidance of 20,000, the production number still represents an increase of 20% over the previous quarter. An unusually high number of cars in transit at the end of the quarter — 5,150  — accounts for the difference between the number of cars produced and the number delivered. By comparison, only 2,615 were in transit at the end of Q1. The vehicles in transit now are expected to be delivered early in the third quarter.

Tesla expects output to reach 2,200 vehicles per week in Q3 and 2,400 vehicles per week in Q4. In total, it expects to produce and deliver about 50,000 vehicles during the second half of 2016. That’s as many cars as it delivered in all of 2015.

Hitting its targets for this year will be difficult. With combined deliveries for Q1 and Q2 of 16,000 and 14,300 cars respectively, Tesla will need to deliver an average of 25,000 vehicles in Q3 and Q4 to reach its 2016 goals. Whether the Model X will be a success – Musk has called it “the best car ever” – or continue to plague the electric car company with issues remains to be seen, but the investment community will be watching carefully on the vehicle makeup of its total production and delivery count. How many of it will be the Model X?

Combined with worries that the company’s surprise announcement that it intends to purchase SolarCity for $2.8 billion is distracting Tesla from focusing on its core business. The thinking among analysts is that Tesla stock will be under pressure this week as the market frets about the lower than expected Q2 delivery numbers.

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