Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 29 October 2020

Tesla delivers record number of cars worldwide in third quarter

The company has handed over 318,350 cars to customers as of September 30

A Tesla logo outside a showroom in Berlin. The company delivered a record number of cars worldwide in the third quarter. EPA
A Tesla logo outside a showroom in Berlin. The company delivered a record number of cars worldwide in the third quarter. EPA

Tesla delivered a record number of cars worldwide in the third quarter, smashing analysts’ estimates and maintaining its dominance in electric-vehicle sales.

The Palo Alto, California-based carmaker delivered 139,300 cars, eclipsing its prior all-time high of 112,000 in the fourth quarter of 2019 and above the 129,950 projected by analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Shares of Tesla, which have rallied more than 435 per cent this year, pared losses in early trading after announcing the sales data. The stock was down 3.9 per cent in premarket trading Friday to $430.28 as of 8:33am in New York, part of a broad selloff of stocks after President Donald Trump disclosed a positive test for Covid-19.

“Overall, these are stellar numbers,” Dan Ives, an analyst at Wedbush, said in a phone interview early Friday. “The read through here is that China was a source of strength.”

Chief executive Elon Musk signalled to employees and investors that a record quarter was within reach in an internal email in late September.

The quarterly number is a barometer of worldwide EV (Electric Vehicle) demand as Tesla seeks to maintain its lead over startups and established automakers alike that plan to launch dozens of competing battery-powered vehicles in the next several years. Tesla’s global market share in EVs last year was an industry-leading 16 per cent, according to a recent report by McKinsey & Co.

Tesla didn’t say whether it still expects to deliver at least 500,000 vehicles this year, which would be a 36 per cent gain over 2019. The company has handed over 318,350 cars to customers as of September 30. It will need a blowout fourth quarter of around 181,650 global deliveries to reach its target.

At the company’s ‘Battery Day’ event last month showcasing its technology, Mr Musk reaffirmed that 500,000 goal for 2020 by saying he expected “somewhere between 30 to 40 per cent growth” compared with last year.

Tesla’s mass-market Model 3 made up the bulk of deliveries in the third quarter, but the results included the Model Y crossover, which first started reaching US customers in mid-March. Mr Musk has predicted it will be a big seller, potentially topping the combined volume of all other vehicles in Tesla’s lineup.

Tesla assembles the Model S, X, 3 and Y at its US auto plant in Fremont, California. It also manufactures the Model 3 at a factory in Shanghai. The company is building new plants at a site near Austin, Texas, and outside Berlin.

Updated: October 2, 2020 05:33 PM

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