Autos

Tesla Sets Record-Breaking First Quarter in Production and Deliveries

Jon C. Ogg

While the economy has fallen into a recession and while the data coming in the days and weeks ahead may be grim, Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) managed to produce 102,672 cars in the first quarter of 2020. The company delivered 88,400 cars in the first quarter as well.

While Tesla showed that this was its best first-quarter report yet, much of the impact of the instant recession was not felt until March. The independent research firm Argus had also just recently downgraded Tesla ahead of these figures.

Tesla reported that the Model 3/Y saw 87,282 models produced and 76,200 models delivered. Its Model S/X saw production of 15,390 units and some 12,200 deliveries. A total of 7% of its cars are listed as subject to lease accounting, with 16% being in the Model S/X and 5% being in the Model 3/Y.

The company’s press release noted that its Model Y production started in January and its deliveries began in March, which the company noted was “significantly ahead of schedule.” Tesla also announced that its Shanghai factory has continued to reach record levels of production despite some significant setbacks.

While the company is not disclosing all formal numbers until it releases its earnings, nor whether low oil prices are hurting its demand. The report did say:

Our delivery count should be viewed as slightly conservative, as we only count a car as delivered if it is transferred to the customer and all paperwork is correct. Final numbers could vary by up to 0.5% or more. Tesla vehicle deliveries represent only one measure of the company’s financial performance and should not be relied on as an indicator of quarterly financial results, which depend on a variety of factors, including the cost of sales, foreign exchange movements and mix of directly leased vehicles.

Tesla shares surged in the after-hours, but investors should know by now that this can be a very volatile stock. Tesla closed down 5.6% at $454.47 on Thursday, and the after-hours reaction was up 9% at close to $495.00. Tesla’s 52-week range is $176.99 to $968.99.

It is currently unknown about what sort of guidance Tesla sees for the rest of 2020 under the COVID-19 pandemic and recession. Tesla previously disclosed its cash position being $6.3 billion at the end of 2019, and that was prior to a $2.3 billion capital raise.