This article explores Tesla’s quarterly production and deliveries numbers for its flagship electric vehicles such as the Model S, Model X, Model 3 and the new Model Y.
There is also an extra chart to show the correlation between total vehicle delivery and automotive revenue. The chart should show a proportional relationship between vehicle delivery numbers and automotive revenue, meaning that when the vehicle delivery increases, so will the automotive revenue and vice versa.
You will also see a summary of the QoQ and YoY growth rate of the total vehicle delivery over multiple quarters.
An important milestone that Tesla has achieved in 2020 was that Model Y production has already started in January 2020 in the Fremont Gigafactory and deliveries for this new model were supposed to begin in March but I doubt that has happened due to the coronavirus pandemic which has severely affected the automobile industry.
For your information, the Model Y production has not started in the Shanghai Gigafactory and is still under construction as shown in the following snapshot extracted from Tesla 1Q 2020 update letter.
Nevertheless, the production and delivery numbers in the following charts are obtained directly from Tesla’s quarterly vehicle production and delivery updates such as this one in Q2 2020: Tesla Q2 2020 vehicle production and delivery.
According to Tesla, the delivery number published in the quarterly updates should be viewed as conservative as vehicle delivery is counted as delivered only when it is transferred to the customer and all paperwork is correct. Vehicles produced but not delivered are counted as in transit when the customers have placed an order or paid the full purchase price.
Let’s get started!
Chart of Tesla’s Model 3/Y Production
The chart above shows Tesla Model 3 and Model Y combined quarterly production numbers between 2017 and 2020. For your information, Tesla has only started large scale production of Model 3 in the second half of 2017 and Model Y in January 2020.
As the chart shows, Model 3 production and subsequently Model Y which started in Jan 2020, has grown tremendously over the previous 12 quarters, reaching a record high in 1Q 2020 at 87,000 units. However, Model 3/Y production declined quarter over quarter in 2Q 2020 to 76,000 units, representing a QoQ decline of as much as 13%.
On a YoY basis, the 2Q 2020 result represents a growth of nearly 5% compared to the corresponding quarter a year earlier.
Nevertheless, the massive growth of vehicle production from just 260 vehicles in 3Q 2017 to more than 76,000 vehicles in 2Q 2020 gave an average quarterly production growth rate of roughly 130%!
Moreover, YoY growth rate of Model 3/Y production was even more impressive. From a spreadsheet calculation, the average YoY growth rate was close to 3000% from the Model 3 inception.
Chart of Tesla’s Model S/X Production
On the contrary, Model S and Model X production has 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 gone worse in 2Q 2020 when the reported production number plunged to only 6,326, representing a QoQ and YoY decline of 59% and 56%, respectively.
You may notice that the Model S/X production has been on a decline and has gone from bad to worse. One explanation for the decline was that these models are not meant for mass production as they are considered premium vehicles that are only going into production when customers have confirmed their orders.
Moreover, Tesla has shifted its focus to Model 3/Y in which these models are meant for the mass market adoption. Furthermore, Tesla has installed the Model S/X with longer-range batteries and this has resulted in higher selling prices for these models, and thus, the lower demand.
According to Tesla Q4 2018 Update Letter, Tesla wanted to have more differentiation between Model S/X and Model 3 so that the lower range version of Model S/X does not cannibalize the sales of Model 3.
Also, the COVID-19 outbreak may have contributed to the decline of Model S/X production in 2Q 2020 when Tesla’s main factory in Fremont was shut down for much of the quarter.
With a higher sale price, a shifted focus to Model 3/Y and a factory shutdown in 2Q20, it is not a surprise to see a production drop in Model S/X.
Chart of Tesla’s Model 3/Y Delivery
Similar to the production rate, the delivery of Model 3/Y also saw exceptional results when Tesla delivered 80,050 vehicles in 2Q 2020. The figure represents a YoY increase of just 3% or 5% when measured sequentially. The 3% YoY growth rate was the lowest since the inception of Model 3.
Nonetheless, the vehicle delivery growth for the past 3 years has been nothing short of extraordinary. Model 3/Y delivery number of just 220 vehicles in 3Q 2017 and a massive 80,050 reported in 2Q 2020 gave an average YoY growth rate of 3780%!
As mentioned, Model Y delivery has only started at the end 1Q 2020 and its respective delivery number should not be materially meaningful.
You may notice that the Model 3 delivery declined substantially in 1Q 2019 to only 50,900 units from the prior quarter. The decline was mainly driven by the pull-forward of demand from Q1 2019 to Q4 2018 because of the step down of the federal tax credit starting 2019.
Despite the decline in a single quarter, delivery for Model 3 has picked up and shown massive growth from 2Q 2019 to 2Q 2020. The solid result proved that the demand for Model 3 has not faded although federal tax credit has been reduced.
Also, Tesla still managed to deliver an exceptional result in 2Q 2020 despite the COVID-19 headwind which has resulted in a partial shut down of the Fremont Gigafactory.
Chart of Tesla’s Model S and Model X Delivery
In contrast, vehicle deliveries for Model S and Model X were not as good as the Model 3 as shown in the chart above. Since 2016, Model S/X delivery has been averaged at about 24,000 vehicles but the figure dropped drastically in 2019 with an average of 15,000 vehicles delivered per quarter.
In 2Q 2020, Tesla delivered only 10,600 Model S/X, representing a QoQ decline of 13% or as much as 40% when measured year on year. The 2Q 2020 vehicle delivery result for Model S/X was the lowest since 2016.
As mentioned in the prior discussion, the reason for the lower demand has been largely due to the discontinuation of the 75kWh version of Model S and Model X since 4Q18 as pointed out in the company Q4 2018 Update Letter.
Tesla wanted to focus on the performance version of Model S and Model X – longer battery range – to avoid cannibalization of Model 3 by the lower range version of Model S and Model X. Due to the premium features added such as larger battery and longer range, the price of Model S and X has increased significantly.
The demand for the premium version of both Model S and Model X has declined since 2019, possibly due to the price increase.
Coupled with the effect of the COVID-19 outbreak which has shut down some of Tesla’s Fremont operations, the demand for Model S/X has been further affected.
Tesla’s Total Vehicle Deliveries vs Automotive Revenue
The chart above illustrates Tesla total vehicle deliveries and its respective automotive revenue. Automotive revenues are automotive sales and leasing revenues recognized upon vehicles are delivered.
Energy product revenues such as the sales of Powerwall, Powerpack, solar energy generation and so on are excluded from automotive revenue. Thus, energy product revenues are not measured in the chart above.
Based on the chart, we can see how the automotive revenue is closely correlated with the total vehicle delivery numbers throughout all reporting periods. For instance, automotive revenue increases along with the increasing vehicle delivery numbers and vice versa.
Noticed how automotive revenue dropped significantly in 1Q19 when total vehicle deliveries had slumped to only 60,000 vehicles from the prior quarter of 90,000 vehicles.
In Q2 2020, Tesla’s total vehicle delivery reached 90,650 vehicles, representing a comparable growth rate of -5%. In other words, Tesla’s total vehicle delivery in 2Q 2020 has actually declined year over year.
However, sequential growth for total vehicle delivery in Q2 2020 grew by a modest 2.5%.
Again, the YoY decline in total vehicle delivery may have been largely driven by the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak which has started since 1Q 2020.
Tesla’s Total Vehicle Deliveries Quarterly Growth Rate
The chart above shows Tesla’s quarter over quarter (QoQ) growth rate of total vehicle deliveries between 2015 and 2020.
According to the chart, the sequential growth of total vehicle deliveries had been mostly positive for all quarters. There are only a handful of quarters with the growth rate in the red. From a spreadsheet calculation, the average sequential growth rate was roughly 15% for all quarters shown in the chart.
As expected, most of the growth in vehicle deliveries came primarily from Model 3 as Model 3 alone made up over 80% of total vehicle deliveries.
In Q2 2020, the QoQ growth rate for total vehicle delivery increased by a modest 2.5% when 90,650 vehicles were delivered compared to 88,400 units in the preceding quarter.
Despite the many setbacks encountered during the production and challenging automotive industry, Tesla still managed to achieve an average sequential growth rate of 15% which proves that Tesla is still growing at an impressive rate and a force to be reckoned with in the automotive industry.
Tesla’s Total Vehicle Deliveries Year On Year Growth Rate
The chart above represents Tesla’s total vehicle delivery year on year (YoY) growth rate from 2016 to 2020.
As shown, the YoY results are even more impressive compared to the quarterly results. Notice that almost all quarterly results posted positive YoY growth rates except for the latest quarter of 2Q20.
From my calculation, the average YoY growth rate for total vehicle delivery was roughly 68% for all financial periods in the chart. That is quite a feat for Tesla!
The YoY total vehicle delivery decline of a modest 5% in 2Q 2020 was the first since 2016.
Similarly, the decline may have been attributed to the partial shut down of the Fremont Gigafactory and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic which has reduced the demand for Tesla’s vehicle in the Q2 2020 quarter.
In summary, Tesla’s total vehicle production and delivery will most likely inch higher in the coming quarters in 2020 and possibly 2021, considering that Tesla will run the production of the Model Y at full throttle not only in the Fremont factory but also in the Shanghai Gigafactory in China.
References and Credits
1. Production and Deliveries figures in the charts above were obtained from Tesla Investor Press Release.
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