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Tesla delivers 83.5k vehicles for Q3 2018, Model 3 production hits 53,239

During the third quarter, Tesla produced a total of 80,142 electric cars, 50% more than the company’s prior all-time high in Q2 2018. Tesla produced 53,239 Model 3, as well as 26,903 Model S and X vehicles.

Deliveries for Q3 totaled 83,500 vehicles, comprised of 55,840 Model 3, as well as 14,470 Model S, and 13,190 Model X. With these figures, Tesla’s Q3 deliveries alone corresponds to 80% of the company’s entire deliveries last year. The electric car maker also delivered about twice as many Model 3 in the third quarter as all previous quarters combined.

Tesla also had 8,048 Model 3and 3,776 Model S and X in transit to customers at the end of Q3. These vehicles are expected to be delivered in early Q4 2018. The company’s target of delivering 100,000 Model S and X in 2018 remains unchanged.

The third quarter saw Tesla transition from its self-imposed “production hell” and well into what Elon Musk describes as “delivery logistics hell.” Even before the Q3 results were released, expectations from Wall Street analysts already pointed to the electric car maker hitting its target of producing and delivering 50,000-55,000 Model 3 in the quarter. Even Goldman Sachs analyst David Tamberrino, who has long been a Tesla skeptic, released a note stating that he expects the company to achieve its Q3 production and delivery targets.

The past quarter has not been blemish-free for Tesla. During Q3, the electric car maker’s shares in the stock market experienced several drops, the most notable of which was a steep dive last week after the Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it has filed a lawsuit against Elon Musk over his “funding secured” tweet last August. Musk and the SEC reached a settlement for the lawsuit this past Saturday, and by Monday’s close, TSLA stock recovered the losses it incurred from the previous week’s drop.

It should be noted that Tesla’s record Q3 2018 numbers were achieved through a remarkable team effort that started from the company’s executives all the way to owners of the electric cars themselves. As Tesla faced challenges with its “delivery logistics hell” at the end of Q3, some Tesla owners volunteered to help out the company by conducting orientations for newcomers. Over the last two weekends of Q3, Tesla’s volunteer-boosted delivery initiative ultimately helped the company achieve its record delivery figures. Anecdotes from electric car owners also indicated that even executives like Elon Musk helped out in deliveries as well.

Tesla is set to tackle even more ambitious targets in Q4. Tesla’s Model 3 production ramp, which is now hitting its stride, is expected to continue until the company hits a steady pace of producing 10,000 Model 3 per week. Preparations for the initial production of the $35,000 Standard trim Model 3, which is expected to enter production early next year, are also expected to continue.

Tesla’s production and delivery report for Q2 2018 can be accessed below.

PALO ALTO, Calif., Oct. 02, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — In Q3, we produced 80,142 vehicles, 50% more than our prior all-time high in Q2, including:

  • 53,239 Model 3 vehicles, which was in line with our guidance and almost double the volume of Q2. During Q3, we transitioned Model 3 production from entirely rear wheel drive at the beginning of the quarter to almost entirely dual motor during the last few weeks of the quarter. This added significant complexity, but we successfully executed this transition and ultimately produced more dual motor than rear wheel drive cars in Q3. In the last week of the quarter, we produced over 5,300 Model 3 vehicles, almost all of which were dual motor, meaning that we achieved a production rate of more than 10,000 drive units per week. 
  • 26,903 Model S and X vehicles, which was slightly higher than Q2 and in line with our full-year guidance.

Q3 deliveries totaled 83,500 vehicles: 55,840 Model 3, 14,470 Model S, and 13,190 Model X. To put this in perspective, in just Q3, we delivered more than 80% of the vehicles that we delivered in all of 2017, and we delivered about twice as many Model 3s as we did in all previous quarters combined.

Our Q3 Model 3 deliveries were limited to higher-priced variants, cash/loan transactions, and North American customers only. There remain significant opportunities to grow the addressable market for Model 3 by introducing leasing, standard battery and other lower-priced variants of the car, and by starting international deliveries.

Demand for Model S and X remains high. In Q3, we were able to significantly increase Model S and X deliveries notwithstanding the headwinds we have been facing from the ongoing trade tensions between the US and China. Those trade tensions have resulted in an import tariff rate of 40% on Tesla vehicles versus 15% for other imported cars in China.

In addition, Tesla continues to lack access to cash incentives available to locally produced electric vehicles in China that are typically around 15% of MSRP or more. Taking ocean transport costs and import tariffs into account, Tesla is now operating at a 55% to 60% cost disadvantage compared to the exact same car locally produced in China. This makes for a challenging competitive environment, given that China is by far the largest market for electric vehicles. To address this issue, we are accelerating construction of our Shanghai factory, which we expect to be a capital efficient and rapid buildout, using many lessons learned from the Model 3 ramp in North America.

With production stabilized, delivery and outbound vehicle logistics were our main challenges during Q3. We made many improvements to these processes throughout the quarter, and plan to make further improvements in Q4 so that we can scale successfully. As part of this effort, we plan to continue to expand direct deliveries to customers at their home or office, a service we launched in Q3 to improve customer convenience.

8,048 Model 3 vehicles and 3,776 Model S and X vehicles were in transit to customers at the end of Q3, and will be delivered in early Q4. Our overall target of 100,000 Model S and X deliveries in 2018 remains unchanged.

Our net income and cash flow results will be announced along with the rest of our financial performance when we announce Q3 earnings.

We want to thank the entire Tesla team for executing so well during this challenging ramp up in deliveries. We also want to thank all of our customers who volunteered to help us with deliveries, and our new customers who are showing their faith in Tesla by purchasing our products in such large numbers. It was beyond inspiring to see the contributions made by the whole Tesla community.

Tesla’s Q3 2018 vehicle deliveries and production report can be accessed here.

Tesla delivers 83.5k vehicles for Q3 2018, Model 3 production hits 53,239
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