Tesla is preparing its employees for a somewhat traditional end-of-quarter delivery blitz to counter the shutdowns the automaker faced at its production facility in Shanghai this quarter.
During a company-wide meeting with CEO Elon Musk, a Tesla employee inquired whether delivery cycles would become more regular and the company would aim to avoid end-of-quarter delivery blitzes, according to a report from Electrek.
Tesla has routinely stepped up production and deliveries at the end of most quarters just to end the three-month period with an exclamation point. In past years, Tesla has utilized these end-of-quarter pushes to spike production and delivery figures while it was still operating a limited production process at Fremont and Shanghai. Now that Tesla has opened two additional plants in Austin, Texas, and Brandenburg, Germany, the automaker will not have to use the strategy to increase delivery counts. Instead, the routine ramping of manufacturing at the two new facilities, along with planned expansions at Shanghai, should take care of Tesla’s increased delivery figures, which should grow with every quarter.
However, Q2 2022 was far from ordinary. In Shanghai, Tesla faced a three-week shutdown due to a spike in COVID-19 cases, which put most of the city on lockdown. Tesla has quickly returned back to normal production figures, but the three-week lapse in manufacturing at the Shanghai factory contributed to a 99 percent drop in production figures from March to April. Gigafactory Shanghai accounted for a majority of Tesla’s total deliveries in 2021, contributing 51.7 percent of the company’s total deliveries last year.
Analysts dropped expectations for Tesla’s Q2 delivery figures earlier this week due to the Shanghai shutdown. Barclays cut their Q2 forecast from 315,000 deliveries to 251,000. “As Tesla CEO Elon Musk grapples with outside business pursuits, the company’s 2Q production and margins are set to disappoint as Shanghai shackles output,” Barclays analyst Brian Johnson said.
Musk plans to utilize the end-of-quarter push to counteract some of the damage done by the Shanghai shutdown. He said to employees regarding regular delivery cycles (via Electrek):
“This has been a challenge since late 2008. There always seems to be something that happens and causes the end of the quarter to be nutty, and this quarter will not be an exception – mostly because we had this huge challenge with the COVID restrictions in Shanghai. It basically shut down the Shanghai factory for much of the early part of the quarter. It is only now getting back to full production. It will be pretty intense this quarter.”
Musk confirmed that Shanghai is finally back up to full production, and May proved to be another month to build upon as it was its first rebound in manufacturing and delivery figures since the April shutdown. The China Passenger Car Association (CPCA) reported Tesla sold 32,165 cars in May, with 33,544 produced, a 212 percent increase from the abysmal April numbers.
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