In this article, I have created a series of charts below to keep track of Tesla quarterly production and deliveries numbers of its flagship electric vehicles such as Model S, Model X, Model 3 and the new Model Y.
Furthermore, there is an extra chart to show the correlation between total vehicle delivery and automotive revenue. This chart is important as it shows a proportional relationship between these two components, meaning that when vehicle delivery increases, so will automotive revenue and vice versa.
If somehow, the chart shows an inverse proportional relationship, meaning that both components are going in the opposite direction relative to each other, then something is broken. If this is scenario occurs, we may have to dig in to figure out the reason.
One likely outcome might be a sudden change in the selling prices, either drastically higher or lower.
Finally, you will also get to see a chart summary of the quarterly (qoq) and year over year (yoy) growth rate of the total vehicle delivery over multiple quarters.
An important milestone that Tesla has achieved in Q1 2020 was that Model Y production has already started in January, 2020 and deliveries for this new model was supposed to begin in March but I doubt that has happened due to the coronavirus pandemic which has severely ravaged the automobile industry.
Nevertheless, the production and delivery numbers in the following charts are obtained directly from the company quarterly vehicle production and deliveries updates such as this one in Q4 2020: Tesla Q4 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 is counted as in transit when the customers have placed order or paid the full purchase price.
Therefore, read on to find out more!
Chart of Tesla 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 on January, 2020.
As the chart shows, Model 3 production and subsequently Model Y which started in Jan 2020, has grown tremendously over the previous 11 quarters, reaching record high in 1Q 2020 at 87,000 units. The massive growth from just 260 vehicles in 3Q 2017 to more than 87,000 vehicles over the 3-year period represents an average quarterly production growth rate of roughly 147%!
Moreover, year over year (yoy) growth rate has been even more impressive. From a spreadsheet calculation which i did not show here, the average Model 3 yoy production growth rate is roughly 3376% for the 11 quarters shown in the chart above.
Chart of Tesla 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.
From my own calculation, the average sequential growth rate for the past 17 quarters in the chart above has only been 1.5% whereas the average yoy growth rate has even declined at -3%.
You might notice a worrying trend for Model S/X production in the current chart. There has been significant decline in the production of Model S and Model X since 2019. During 1Q 2020, combined production of Model S/X was only 15,000 units, representing a year over year growth of 8.8% or -14% sequentially.
There are a lot of reasons for the decline in the production for Model S and Model X. The most likely one would be that these models are not meant for mass production as they are considered premium vehicles which are only going into production when customers have confirmed their orders.
Moreover, Tesla has shifted its focus to Model 3 during the same period which may explain the decline in Model S/X production. Furthermore, Tesla has upgraded these models with longer range battery and thus higher selling prices for these models which may have pushed down demand.
According to Tesla Q4 2018 Update Letter, Tesla wanted to provide 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.
With higher prices and Tesla’s focus shifted to mass production of Model 3, the demand for Model S and X has dropped substantially as shown in the Model S/X vehicles delivery chart below. When demand dropped, production would certainly follow suit.
Chart of Tesla Model 3/Y Delivery
Similar to the production rate, the delivery of Model 3 also shows exceptional result where the average sequential growth rate is roughly 140% for the 11 quarters shown in the chart.
The Model 3/Y delivery number of just 220 vehicles in 3Q 2017 and a massive 76,000 in 1Q 2020 gave an average year on year (yoy) growth rate of more than 4000%! As mentioned, Model Y delivery has only started at the end 1Q 2020 and its respective delivery number should not be materially meaningful.
The decline in delivery in 1Q19 was mainly due to 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 showed massive growth again between 2Q 2019 and 1Q 2020. In 1Q 2020, Tesla managed to achieve the best Q1 result, posting 76,000 Model 3/Y delivered which was a 50% year-over-year growth compared to a year ago.
The solid result proved that the demand for Model 3 has not come down even though federal tax credit has been reduced.
Chart of Tesla Model S and Model X Delivery
In contrast, the same exceptional delivery result has not occurred for Model S and Model X as shown in the chart. 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 1Q 2020, Tesla managed to deliver only 12,200 of Model S/X, representing a quarterly growth of -37% but a comparable growth of a modest 1%.
Based on my own calculation, the average sequential growth rate of all the financial periods in the chart is around 3% whereas the average year over year growth rate is just 1%.
As mentioned in prior paragraphs, the reason for the lower demand has been largely due to the discontinuation of the 75kWh version of Model S and Model X in 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.
Tesla 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 products revenues such as the sales of Powerwall, Powerpack, solar energy generation and so on are excluded from automotive revenue. Thus, energy products revenues are not measured in the chart above.
Based on the chart, we can see that automotive revenue has been closely correlated to 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 Q1 2020, Tesla total vehicle delivery reached 88,000 vehicles which represents a comparable growth rate of over 40%. Sequentially, total delivery in Q1 2020 was a decline of as much as 21% compared to the prior quarter.
On a side note, Tesla had delivered more vehicles in Q4 2019 at 112,000 units but revenue growth was sort of flat compared to the same quarter a year ago. The reason for the record vehicle deliveries but stagnating revenue growth can be explained by the fact that Tesla had discounted significantly the sale prices of its vehicles in order to jack up demand.
Besides, the price reduction was done at the expense of profitability which can be seen from its operating income of only $359 million compared to $414 million recorded in the same quarter a year ago. This represents a quarterly operating income decline of as much as -10% from the prior year.
In short, despite record vehicle delivery in Q4 2019, Tesla made less money which was largely due to reduced margin. Let’s see if the same trend occurs in Q1 2020 when the financial result is released by the end of April.
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, sequential growth of total vehicle deliveries had been mostly positive for all quarters. There are only a handful of quarters with growth rate in the red. From a spreadsheet calculation, the average sequential growth rate is roughly 16% for all quarters shown in the chart.
As expected, most growth in vehicle deliveries came primarily from Model 3 as Model 3 alone made up over 80% of total vehicle deliveries.
In Q4 2020, qoq growth rate for total delivery has declined by 21% when 88,0000 of vehicle were delivered compared to 112,000 units recorded in the prior quarter.
Despite the many setbacks encountered in production and challenging automotive industry, Tesla still managed to achieve an average sequential growth rate of 16% which proves that Tesla is still growing at an impressive rate and a force to be reckoned with in the automotive industry.
Total Vehicle Deliveries Year On Year Growth Rate
The chart above represents year on year (yoy) growth rate of Tesla total vehicle deliveries from 2016 to 2020.
As shown, the yoy results are even more impressive compared to the quarterly results. Notice that all quarters posted positive numbers in total vehicle delivery yoy growth rate.
From my calculation, the average yoy growth rate for total vehicle delivery is roughly 72% for all financial periods in the chart. That is quite a feat for Tesla!
When you look at the results in recent quarters such as the end of 2018 and early of 2019, Tesla has achieved entirely triple digit growth rates in those quarters. The results are not that bad either in recent quarters such as those between 3Q 2019 and 1Q 2020 when the company still managed to achieve double-digit growth even after 2 years into production for Model 3.
While Tesla posted a negative sequential growth rate of as high as -21% for total delivery in Q1 2020, it’s a different story when it comes to year over year growth rate in the same quarter. In Q1 2020, yoy growth rate was as much as 40% higher compared to the same quarter a year ago. This result is expected as Tesla delivered 88,000 vehicles in Q1 2020 compared to 63,000 vehicles in Q1 2019.
To recap, Tesla has started Model Y production in Jan 2020 and was supposed to delivery them in March 2020 but with the coronavirus outbreak, I am not sure how much of the Model Y would be delivered from March and onward.
Nevertheless, Tesla still managed to achieve strong Model 3 production and delivery numbers in which the average yoy growth rate has been 3377% and 4320% respectively for the previous 11 quarters since 2017. The yoy Model 3 production and delivery growth rate in Q1 2020 was nearly 39% and 50% respectively.
Tesla Model S and Model X production and delivery numbers have been flat since 2016 and has declined by as much as half starting 2019. The decline has been mainly attributed to price increases to avoid Model 3 sales cannibalization by lower range Model S and X.
Tesla automotive revenues are highly correlated to the total vehicle delivery numbers in which both are moving in the same direction as shown in the chart.
Total vehicle delivery recorded impressive qoq and yoy average growth rate of 16% and 72% respectively. In 1Q 2020, total vehicle deliveries were at record Q1 number in which 88,400 vehicles were delivered, representing a yoy growth rate of 40%. However, the qoq total vehicle growth rate in 1Q 2020 has declined by 21% as 112,000 vehicles were delivered in the prior quarter.
In summary, Tesla’s total vehicle production and delivery will most likely inch higher in the coming months in 2020 in spite of the challenging automobile industry caused by the corona virus pandemic. I believe the company will even achieve record results by the end of 2020 due to the emergence of Model Y.
References and Credits
1. Production and Deliveries figures in the charts above were obtained from Tesla Investor Press Release.
2. Featured images in this article are used under creative commons license and sourced from the following websites: Jakob Härter.
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