Tesla has set new all-time production and delivery records across the board, with vehicle deliveries to customers up 8% to 90,700 for Q4 2018. Production kept pace with the spike in deliveries with a corresponding 8% increase in production for a total of 86,555 vehicles.
Of the vehicles produced in Q4, 61,394 were Model 3, representing a 15% increase versus Q3. The bump up in Model 3 production numbers demonstrates that the company is not only ramping up automotive production capability at its Fremont, California, automotive factory, but is also ramping up production at Gigafactory 1 (GF1) in Nevada. The 15% increase in 75kWh Model 3s represents a corresponding battery cell production capacity increase of more than 2.7GWh at GF1.
Tesla’s Model S and X continue to pull their weight, with 25,161 Model S and X produced in Q4. This is notable, as sales of the higher end vehicles continue to track along with Tesla’s long-term run rate estimates of 100,000 vehicles per year — despite widespread availability of the Model 3. The lower priced Model 3 was expected by many to cannibalize sales of Tesla’s higher end vehicles, but Q4 numbers continue to tell a different story.
Deliveries continue to track up and to the right, alongside production numbers, with 63,150 Model 3 delivered to customers in Q4. That’s a 13% increase over Q3 numbers, which were, at the time, a shocking achievement that many skeptics considered impossible just a few months ago. Model S and X outsold production, posting 13,500 Model S deliveries and 14,050 Model X deliveries in Q4.
Rolling Q4 numbers into the fold for the year, 2018 saw Tesla deliver almost as many vehicles to customers in a single year as they did in all prior years combined. All told, 2018 saw 245,240 vehicles delivered to customers, the bulk of which were Model 3, with 145,846 of that new model delivered to customers. Model S and X rounded out the picture with 99,394 deliveries in 2018.
These increases were built on a vehicle that is still only selling in mid- and higher-priced configurations, as Tesla is yet to build the $35,000 Standard Range Model 3. Looking ahead to Q1 2019, Tesla is opening up the floodgates overseas, allowing European and Chinese customers to purchase the Model 3 for the first time ever.
With a larger mid-sized luxury vehicle markets and electric car markets than North America, European and Chinese customers have been drooling over deliveries to North American customers for months in anticipation of the European launch. Q1 will see the first production builds of the Model 3 heading into the EU and China as Tesla pulls another of its long list of demand levers for the Model 3. To increase demand, as needed, Tesla can ramp up production across more price points, grow into new geographies, and offer more options for customers to finance the cars, such as leasing.
The increases in production and deliveries stack on top of previous company records that were set just months before in Q3, and show that Tesla may have let up on the accelerator in Q4 to clean house, but it had by no means slowed down. 15 percent quarter-over-quarter growth in Model 3 production across its Fremont and Gigafactory supply chains shows that Tesla continues to invest in its manufacturing production capacity ahead of the imminent reveal of the Model Y later this year.
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