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Tracking Tesla Vehicle Production and Deliveries Numbers

Tesla Motors. Source: Flickr Image

This article keeps track of Tesla’s quarterly vehicle production and deliveries numbers for Model S, Model X, Model 3 and the new Model Y.

Other than vehicle production and delivery numbers, this article also explores a number of other statistics, including Tesla’s cumulative deliveries, trailing 12-months (TTM) and annual deliveries, automotive sales, quarter over quarter (QoQ) and year over year (YoY) growth rates

Let’s get started!

Tesla’s Production Capacity

The following snapshot shows Tesla’s production capacity as of 4Q 2020:

Tesla production capacity 4Q 2020. Source: Tesla 4Q update letter.

Based on the snapshot above, Tesla’s Model 3/Y production at the Fremont Gigafactory has an installed capacity of up to 500,000 vehicles but that doesn’t mean Tesla can ramp the production to this number.

There are a number of factors that can affect the production rate, including the pace of factory ramp, supply chain ramp, factory downtime related to upgrades, etc.

Additionally, Tesla’s Model 3 and Model Y production has also started in the Shanghai Gigafactory and the combined production capacity is up to 450,000 vehicles per year based on the snapshot above.

According to Tesla’s 4Q 2020 press released, the 1st delivery of the Model Y is expected in 1Q 2021 at the Shanghai Gigafactory.

Tesla is also building a number of Gigafactory around the world which will work on other models such as the Tesla Semi, Cybertruck and Roadster.

The Berlin Gigafactory construction is in progress and as soon as the construction is completed, the factory will roll out the Model Y for the European market.

In short, Tesla is taking over the world!

Tesla’s Model 3/Y Production

Tesla Model 3/Y production

Tesla Model 3/Y production

* Model Y production started only in 1Q 2020.
* Model 3/Y production numbers came directly from Tesla’s Press Release.

The chart above shows Tesla Model 3 and Model Y combined quarterly production numbers between 2017 and 2021.

For your information, Tesla has only started large-scale production of Model 3 in the second half of 2017 and Model Y in 1Q 2020.

As the chart shows, Tesla’s combined production numbers, which include both the Model 3 and Model Y, have grown tremendously over the past 3 years, reaching a record high in 1Q 2021 at more than 180,000 vehicles.

On a year over year basis, the 1Q 2020 production result represents a growth of more than 100% compared to the corresponding quarter a year earlier.

The best part is that Tesla’s production of Model 3/Y accelerated in 2020 and 2021 as a result of the company’s aggressive expansion on a global scale.

In terms of the breakdown, Tesla did not disclose separately the Model 3 and Model Y production numbers.

Nevertheless, my guess is that the massive jump in Model 3/Y production throughout 2020 and 2021 was bolstered by the recent production ramp at the Shanghai Gigafactory.

Additionally, the debut of Model Y at the Fremont and Shanghai Gigafactory has helped to boost the overall production rates.

Tesla’s Model S/X Production

Tesla Model S/X production

Tesla Model S/X production

* Model S/X production numbers came directly from Tesla’s Press Release.

On the contrary, Tesla’s Model S and Model X productions have been sort of flat since 2016 and the figure has even declined significantly during 2019, recording only slightly more than 15,000 vehicles produced in Q1 2020.

The Model S/X production number has continued to go downhill in 2Q 2020 when the reported production number plunged to only 6,326, representing a QoQ and YoY decline of 59% and 56%, respectively.

However, Tesla’s Model S/X production recovered in 3Q and 4Q 2020 to 17,000 and 16,000 vehicles respectively, a level which was only seen about a year ago.

As of 2020 1Q, Tesla’s production numbers for Model S/X came surprisingly to a zero, which means there was literally no production at all for these flagship models in the latest quarter of 2021.

For your information, Tesla’s Model S/X is considered a premium vehicle in which mass production is limited or outright not feasible.

As such, the Model S/X has an installed production capacity of only 100,000 vehicles per year at the Fremont Gigafactory.

Over the years, Tesla has not been able to grow the production of Model S/X due primarily to the premium features of these models and of course, the exorbitant price point.

In this case, the higher entry price for the Model S/X has rendered mass-market adoption of these models nearly impossible.

Tesla’s Model 3/Y Delivery

Tesla Model 3/Y delivery

Tesla Model 3/Y delivery

* Model Y delivery started only in 2Q 2020.
* Model 3/Y delivery numbers came directly from Tesla’s Press Release.

Tesla delivered an exceptional figure of 182,780 Model 3/Y in Q1 2021, representing a YoY increase of 140%.

Tesla’s Model 3/Y deliveries over the past 3 years have been nothing short of extraordinary and it was even accelerating in 2020/2021.

Again, the massive jump in Model 3/Y deliveries in 2021 1Q may have been driven largely by the Model 3/Y delivery ramp at the Shanghai Gigafactory.

Tesla’s Shanghai Gigafactory has been adding massive numbers of Model 3/Y for the Chinese market in 2020 and 2021 since its inception in 2019.

Despite the COVID-19 headwind in 2020 which has temporarily shuttered some of Tesla’s factories, Tesla managed to defy the challenges and pressed forward to deliver exceptional results throughout 2020.

Cumulatively, Tesla has so far delivered more than 1,000,000 Model 3 and Y combined as of 2021 Q1 since the start of the Model 3 program 3 years ago.

Tesla’s Model S/X Delivery

Tesla Model S/X delivery

Tesla Model S/X delivery

* Model S/X delivery numbers came directly from Tesla’s Press Release.

In contrast, Tesla delivered only 2,020 Model S and Model X in 1Q 2021 as shown in the chart above, representing a YoY decline of nearly 7X.

Tesla’s Model S/X deliveries averaged about 25,000 vehicles per quarter prior to 2019 but the figure dropped drastically since 2019 with an average figure of only 15,000 vehicles per quarter.

And, Tesla has delivered only 2,000 Model S/X in 2021 year-to-date, which was a cry from its average.

Over the chart, you may notice that Tesla’s Model S/X delivery has been going downhill steadily and the downtrend has accelerated in 2020.

The downtrend is sort of expected as Tesla has shifted its focus to the Model 3/Y since 2019 due primarily to the mass production capability of these models.

As mentioned, Tesla’s Model S/X are considered premium models in which the installed production capacity is limited to only 100,000 vehicles per year compared to the 500,000 installed capacity for Model 3/Y per Gigafactory.

Tesla won’t survive on Model S/X as these models sell for nearly USD100,000 per piece.

How many can afford a vehicle that costs nearly USD100,000?

Therefore, Tesla needs the Model 3/Y to survive and grow.

Currently, the Model S/X is produced only at the Fremont Gigafactory in the U.S., and these vehicles are exported globally to other countries.

Additionally, Tesla also has started Model S/X production in China in 1Q 2021 and will ramp the production of these models going forward.

Tesla vs. Ford vs. GM in Annual Vehicle Sales

Tesla total vehicle delivery vs Ford vs GM

Tesla total vehicle delivery vs Ford vs GM

* Tesla annual vehicle delivery numbers came directly from Tesla’s Press Release.
* Ford annual vehicle delivery numbers came from the wholesale numbers extracted from Ford’s annual reports.
* GM annual vehicle delivery numbers came from the wholesale numbers extracted from GM’s annual reports.

The chart above shows Tesla’s vehicle sales or deliveries compared to that of Ford and General Motors on an annual basis.

The comparison in vehicle deliveries among Tesla, Ford and GM is meant to give readers an idea of where Tesla stands in terms of sales figures over the last several years.

According to the chart, Tesla’s vehicle sales seem awfully small when pitted against that of its bigger rivals such as Ford and GM.

For example, Tesla delivered only half a million vehicles in 2020 compared to 4 million vehicle deliveries for Ford and 3.4 million for General Motors.

In 2020, Tesla’s total vehicle deliveries were like 8X fewer than that of Ford and 7X fewer than that of GM.

The difference was even bigger back in 2015 where Ford and GM delivered nearly 6 million vehicles each compared to Tesla’s 50,000 vehicles.

Keep in mind that Tesla’s market cap was almost 5X larger than the combined market value of Ford and GM as of April 2021.

While Ford and GM have delivered a much larger pool of vehicles between 2015 and 2020, their sales growth has been going downhill in the same period.

In contrast, Tesla’s vehicle sales have been growing by leaps and bounds between 2015 and 2020, and that probably explains the market capitalization difference among the 3 major automakers.

Tesla’s Total Vehicle Deliveries (TTM)

Tesla total vehicle delivery and automotive revenue (TTM)

Tesla total vehicle delivery and automotive revenue (TTM)

* TTM vehicle delivery numbers consist of the sum of quarterly delivery numbers on a trailing 12-month or 4-quarter basis.
* TTM automotive revenue consist of the sum of quarterly revenues on a trailing 12-month or 4-quarter basis.
* TTM vehicle delivery numbers and autmotive revenue came from the author’s own calculations.

The trailing 12-month or TTM plot above is created to show readers the trend of Tesla’s vehicle deliveries, whether up or down, on a quarterly basis.

The TTM plot is able to smooth out all the bumps of a quarterly plot and display a very clear trend on a quarter-to-quarter basis.

That said, Tesla’s total vehicle deliveries have been surging little by little over the shown period in the chart and the uptrend seems unstoppable.

Tesla’s vehicle sales growth has stalled for a bit in 2020 2Q but the growth continued its uptrend in the following quarters.

The uptrend has even accelerated in the last few quarters.

As of 2021 1Q, Tesla’s vehicle sales reached an all-time high at nearly 600,000 units on a TTM basis, representing a year-on-year growth rate of a massive 50%.

The TTM chart also comes with a revenue plot for Tesla.

In this case, the revenue plot represents Tesla’s TTM automotive revenue.

Similarly, Tesla’s automotive revenue has also been growing along with the vehicle delivery growth and surged to $27 billion in 4Q 2020 on a TTM basis, beating all its past results.

All in all, Tesla’s vehicle sales have been nothing short of extraordinary.

Tesla’s Cumulative Vehicle Deliveries

Tesla cumulative vehicle delivery

Tesla cumulative vehicle delivery

* Cumulative vehicle delivery numbers consist of the sum of all quarterly delivery numbers in the past.
* Cumulative vehicle delivery numbers came from the author’s own calculation.

The chart above shows Tesla’s cumulative vehicle deliveries which dated as far back as 1Q 2015.

According to the chart, Tesla reached the 1 million vehicles milestone in 2Q 2020.

As of 1Q 2021, Tesla has delivered slightly more than 1.5 million vehicles cumulatively.

Tesla’s Vehicle Deliveries Quarterly Growth Rate

Tesla vehicle delivery QoQ growth rates

Tesla vehicle delivery QoQ growth rates

* Quarterly growth rates came from the author’s own calculation using the quarterly vehicle delivery data.

The chart above shows Tesla’s quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) growth rates for total vehicle deliveries between 2015 and 2021.

Tesla reported 4 consecutive quarters of positive QoQ growth rates in 2020 and 2021, which in my opinion is sort of breathtaking.

In Q1 2021, Tesla reported a QoQ growth rate of only 2.3% for total vehicle deliveries.

While QoQ growth rates may have declined to low single-digit, it still represents positive quarter-over-quarter growth.

Tesla was probably in much better shape than most automakers in terms of QoQ vehicle delivery growth.

Tesla’s Vehicle Deliveries Year On Year Growth Rate

Tesla vehicle delivery YoY growth rates

Tesla vehicle delivery YoY growth rates

* Year on year growth rates came from the author’s own calculation using the quarterly vehicle delivery data.

The chart above represents Tesla’s total vehicle delivery year-on-year (YoY) growth rates for the period from 2016 to 2021.

As shown, Tesla’s YoY results are even more impressive compared to the quarterly results in which nearly all results are positive.

Tesla’s YoY growth rates are accelerating in 2020 and 2021 despite the COVID-19 headwind.

Tesla reported a YoY growth rate of more than 100% for total vehicle delivery in 1Q 2021, one of the best ever achieved by the company since 2020.

Conclusion

In summary, Tesla’s total vehicle production and delivery will most likely inch higher significantly in the coming years, considering that the company will run at full throttle in terms of production for Model 3/Model Y at the Fremont and Shanghai Gigafactory as well as the coming Berlin Gigafactory.

Additionally, Tesla is also adding quite a number of Gigafactory around the world in the near future, including a plant in India.

References and Credits

1. Production and delivery figures in this article were referenced and obtained directly from Tesla Investor Press Release.

2. Some figures came from the author’s own calculations.

3. Featured images in this article are used under Creative Commons License and sourced from the following websites: Jakob Härter and Duncan Rawlinson – Duncan.co.

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