Luxury electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc (TSLA) said on Wednesday that it reached an all-time best quarter for combined deliveries of its flagship Model S and X vehicle. In addition, the company revealed that it delivered 1,550 of its mass market Model 3 compact sedan in the fourth quarter, a big increase from the 220 units delivered in the previous quarter. Deliveries rose 27% in the fourth quarter from the prior-year period, and 9% over Q3 2017.
Tesla delivered a total of 29,870 vehicles in Q4, of which 15,200 were Model S, 13,120 were Model X, and 1,550 were Model 3, said the company in its Q4 2017 Vehicle Production and Deliveries report. By comparison, the Silicon Valley-based electric carmaker delivered 26,150 vehicles in Q3, including 14,065 Model S vehicles and 11,865 Model X.
Even more notable is the fact that Tesla exceeded its guidance of delivering 100,000 flagship cars in 2017, closing the year at 101,312 Model S and X vehicles delivered, or an increase of 33% over 2016.
Tesla notes that an additional 3,380 vehicles were in transit to customers in the fourth quarter, but will not be counted as a delivery until Q1 2018. Of that number, 860 vehicles were Model 3.
The increase in Model 3 deliveries, a total of 2,410 units, including the number of vehicles in transit, bodes well for Tesla, as the Elon Musk-led company looks to overcome any negative perception that the carmaker won’t be able to hit its ambitious production and delivery targets. Following Musk’s prior address that there “are no fundamental issues with the Model 3 production or supply chain,” Tesla reassured investors in its latest report that production bottlenecks are being actively addressed.
“During Q4, we made major progress addressing Model 3 production bottlenecks, with our production rate increasing significantly towards the end of the quarter. In the last seven working days of the quarter, we made 793 Model 3s, and in the last few days, we hit a production rate on each of our manufacturing lines that extrapolates to over 1,000 Model 3s per week.”
In addition, Tesla notes that its factory was able to produce as many Model 3 vehicles in the last few weeks of December, as they did in the four months prior. “This is why we were not able to deliver many of these cars during the holiday season, just before the quarter ended.” the company further asserted.
The company also confirmed the ramp up of Model 3 deliveries to non-employee customers, as evident from the high volume of Model 3 sightings across California and other key U.S. markets. New Model 3 customers, many who took delivery from the company’s newest Los Angeles-based delivery center, have taken to YouTube to provide their first impressions of the vehicle.
Tesla reassured investors in its Q4 2017 Vehicle Production and Deliveries report that the company remains focused on quality over volume of deliveries.
“As we continue to focus on quality and efficiency rather than simply pushing for the highest possible volume in the shortest period of time, we expect to have a slightly more gradual ramp through Q1, likely ending the quarter at a weekly rate of about 2,500 Model 3 vehicles. We intend to achieve the 5,000 per week milestone by the end of Q2.”
It’s not clear how the pushback of 5,000 Model 3 vehicles produced per week by one quarter will sit with investors, but if the latest report is any indication that the company is making significant progress in ramping up, it’s only a matter of time before Tesla will truly reach its goal of becoming a mass market player in the industry.
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