Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) is preparing for a “monstrous” second quarter as Trip Chowdhry of Global Equities Research released a new note this morning that indicates the Fremont factory in Northern California is running as much as 20 percent above capacity. On the heels of its biggest quarter in company history, Tesla is working to keep its streak of growth in vehicle deliveries intact. Recent shutdowns of the Shanghai production facility in China have hindered Tesla’s outlook for Q2, but the automaker is rebounding in the best way possible as demand increases.
The Fremont factory has an annual production run rate of 600,000 vehicles, Tesla stated in its most recent Shareholder Deck. It builds all four currently-offered Tesla models, and is the only factory to manufacture each vehicle in Tesla’s lineup. Breaking down to about 150,000 vehicles per quarter, Tesla could be operating with at least 30,000 additional cars coming out of Fremont in Q2, a hefty supplemental number to accommodate lost progress in Shanghai this quarter.
In April, Tesla was forced to shut down the Gigafactory Shanghai facility due to a COVID-19 outbreak in the region. The Shanghai production plant was kept dormant for three weeks, all but axing Tesla’s hopes to continue a streak of growth in vehicle deliveries. Tesla’s 310,048 deliveries in Q1 2022 outshined any previous quarter, but assistance is definitely needed if the automaker plans to continue growth in production and deliveries.
Chowdhry said his routine checks on Tesla’s Fremont facility had been evidence of a massive production push in Northern California. This month, especially, has shown major progress. “May 2022 is off to an extremely strong Production, Shipments, and Deliveries,” Chowdhry said in a note. “Fremont Factory is running 10% to 20% above capacity” and comments that “2Q is shaping to be a Monstrous Quarter.”
The note also stated that recent imagery of the Fremont factory seems to show more logistics vehicles arriving at Fremont, especially when comparing daily pickups of completed cars to the first quarter. Chowdhry estimates there are at least 20 percent more shipping trucks arriving at the facility compared to last quarter, which could indicate any number of things, including an increased need for vehicle haulers to push completed vehicles to their customers.
While the assessment from Chowdhry is based on his perspective, there is certainly an indication that Tesla could be using Fremont to pick up the slack from Shanghai. The automaker has been known to push Fremont past capacity in past quarters, especially during the last few weeks of December, to put an exclamation point on a fiscal year. However, Tesla is also ramping manufacturing at its two new production facilities in Austin, Texas, and Brandenberg, Germany. These two factories will take less than a year to reach full production, according to CEO Elon Musk’s estimates on last quarter’s earnings call.
Chowdhry remains bullish on Tesla with a Street-high $2,300 price target and a ‘Buy’ rating on the stock. Tesla shares have tumbled through the past week as Elon Musk sold some $8.5 billion in stock to fund an acquisition of social media platform Twitter.
Disclosure: Joey Klender is a TSLA Shareholder.
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