Tesla (TSLA) Delivers Record-Setting Units During First Quarter Of 2021 – Beating Analysts

This is not investment advice. The author has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. WCCF TECH INC has a disclosure and ethics policy.

Electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla Inc has beaten analyst expectations for its vehicle deliveries during the first quarter of this year. Tesla, which had a consensus forecast of ~172,000 deliveries during Q1 2021, has delivered 184,400 vehicles instead, as it cites a strong recovery in China as helping it to start out the year on a strong note. Additionally, the company also manufactured roughly 180,000 vehicles during the quarter, indicating that perhaps it is approaching its output conservatively with respect to forecasted demand.

Tesla Produces 180,338 Vehicles During Q1 2021 and Delivers 184,800 Vehicles Marking For Strong Year-Over-Year Growth

With the ongoing pandemic now having shrunk global purchasing powers for more than a year, Tesla, like other automakers, was expected to feel the brunt last year. However, the company doggedly stuck to its delivery forecast of half a million vehicles during the year, and as 2020 came to a close, it met this objective.

Elon Musk Sees Lucid Group Going Bankrupt Soon, an Eventuality That Ignores the Crucial Saudi Backing and Runs Counter to the Views of Tesla Permabull Adam Jonas

Now, the Palo Alto, California-based automaker has started the year on a strong note, as it cites optimism for the demand for the new Model Y in China. "We are encouraged by the strong reception of the Model Y in China and are quickly progressing to full production capacity,"  noted Tesla in its delivery report today, as the East Asian country recoc3rs from pandemic after-effects faster than its Western counterparts.

Tesla's Gigafactory 3 in China is playing a crucial role in helping the company establish a strong presence in one of the world's largest vehicle markets. According to information that Tesla shared in its latest annual report, the Shanghai Gigafactory is capable of manufacturing 450,000 vehicles in a year - nearly equal to Tesla's global deliveries during 2020.  The company also noted that it had started manufacturing the Model Y in the Shanghai plant late last year and that it was able to achieve sustained Model 3 production in the plant of 250,000 or a quarter of a million vehicles.

Tesla Inc's Gigafactory in Shanghai, China. Image: Tesla Earnings Presentation For Q4 and FY 2020

More striking is the year-over-year growth in deliveries achieved by Tesla during a historic economic crunch. During the first quarter of last year, Tesla was able to manufacture ~103,000 vehicles and deliver 88,400. Comparing these figures to the previous quarter's production and delivery volumes of 180,338 and 184,800 marks a 76% production and 109% year-over-year delivery increase.

Compared to the fourth quarter of last year, the figures are relatively flat sequentially, indicating that Tesla's primary constraint in growing its delivery figures is its inability to meet actual demand. The state of the electric vehicle market will become clearer once the automaker is able to rapidly scale up its manufacturing, as over the course of the past five quarters it has mostly met its production levels with the total deliveries made.

In addition to its factories in China and the U.S., Tesla is also busy building a plant in Brandenburg-Berlin, Germany. As per its latest statements on the matter, Tesla expects the Berlin plant to mirror its Shanghai counterpart by enabling the company to increase its European deliveries.

For the current year, Tesla hopes to deliver roughly 750,000 vehicles to make for a 50% year-over-year increase. Rudimentary calculations reveal that this entails the company delivers 188,000 vehicles each quarter - a figure that is slightly lower than what the automaker has reported today. First-quarter deliveries are generally thought to be slower and in 2020, they grew in the subsequent quarters, mirrored by a production increase.