Investor's Corner

Tesla achieved its biggest goal for 2023, even with a lackluster quarter

Credit: Andrew Lake | Tesla CyberTruck group on Facebook

Tesla achieved its biggest goal for 2023, as it confirmed yesterday it reached the 1.8 million unit goal it had for the year, even with a lackluster quarter that slowed production and deliveries.

It proves the two million unit delivery mark it had set internally was not too far-fetched. If it had not upgraded lines at its factories in Q3, it might have eclipsed that more lofty goal.

Coming into 2023, Tesla wanted 1.8 million vehicles produced and delivered to customers. It seemed to be on track after Q1 and Q2, as the first half of the year saw over 920,500 cars produced, putting the company clear of the full-year goal by roughly 40,000 units, if things remained steady.

However, Tesla had a few tricks up its sleeves. After launching the new Model 3 “Highland” in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East in October, there was an indication there could be greater sales as the year went on. The introduction of the new Model 3 helped the company get repeat sales as some drivers looked to have the updated version of the company’s all-electric sedan. Additionally, Tesla has reported growth on a quarterly basis, but that idea went to the side in Q3, at least temporarily.

Tesla explains impact of line upgrades that caused drop in production numbers

Tesla said in Q2 that it would need to update lines at several factories, including Fremont and Shanghai, which are major contributors to the company’s production volume. As the company moved forward with its production goals, it knew that a slow Q3 would make Q4 one of the most challenging yet.

Q3 saw a decrease from over 479,000 produced vehicles to just over 430,000, a sizeable decrease of just under 10 percent. It presented a major challenge for Tesla moving into Q4.

As Wedbush wrote in a note yesterday to investors, Tesla had to “come out swinging” in Q4, and in order to reach the 1.8 million mark, it would have to trigger demand through a variety of means. While Cybertruck deliveries began in late November, the impact the pickup had on delivery figures was abysmal, as volume production has yet to begin, and only a few handfuls of units made their way to customers.

Instead, Tesla incentivized vehicle purchases with a variety of tried-and-true promotions. Free Supercharging and $1,000 discounts to Cybertruck reservation holders were a few that deserve recognition. Price cuts also helped the Model S and Model X regain some of the momentum they once had, as they had the best quarterly numbers in five years.

The strategies helped Tesla gain some serious momentum in terms of sales, and it had its strongest quarter yet. Just over 5,000 units away from reaching 500,000 vehicles produced for the quarter, Tesla flexed its muscles to eclipse 1.8 million. The possibility that it could have reached two million units seems more unlikely, considering it was still over 150,000 units shy, and the difference between a normal Q3 and the Q3 that Tesla delivered this year was roughly 40,000 units.

Tesla could have been close to 1.9 million without the slow Q3, and eclipsing its yearly goal by 100,000 units would have proved to be a huge win. Moving forward, Tesla will introduce the Model 3 Highland in the United States soon, and it also will continue to ramp up production of the Cybertruck.

Moving forward, what is a number that is realistic for Tesla to make as a production goal for 2024?

I’d love to hear from you! How many cars do you expect Tesla to deliver in 2024? If you have any comments, concerns, or questions, please email me at You can also reach me on Twitter @KlenderJoey, or if you have news tips, you can email us at

Tesla achieved its biggest goal for 2023, even with a lackluster quarter
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