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More Tesla Sales Forecasts — And By Factory!

Right after I finished and published an article on my 2021 Tesla sales forecasts, I went to Twitter to find it and retweet it. I quickly spotted a tweet from Troy Teslike showing his own forecasts (published a couple of hours before mine). So, being a big fan of his work, I thought I’d look at his forecasts and how they compare to mine. Also, his are split out by factory as well as model! So, that offers some extra fun all by itself.

In the second quarter, here’s how the forecasts compare:

  • Troy: Tesla Model 3 = 116,506
  • Zach: Tesla Model 3 = 110,000
  • Troy: Tesla Model Y = 77,305
  • Zach: Tesla Model Y = 94,000
  • Troy: Tesla Model S/X = 1,189
  • Zach: Tesla Model S/X = 6,000

Clearly, our Model 3 forecasts are close. I’m expecting a bigger/quicker ramp up the Model Y in China as well as a bit of shifting of focus to the Model Y in the US. I expect there’s a lot more demand for the Model Y than the Model 3 and Tesla will gradually favor the Y more and more as a result. That said, Troy tracks production capacity and historical trends very closely, so if I was betting on this, there’s a decent chance I’d bet on Troy’s forecast.

I’m probably wrong on the S & X since production is reportedly still delayed and we don’t actually know what all the holdups are — or if it’s just one bottleneck. That said, as soon as Tesla gets these production lines moving, I assume it will want to get a lot out the door to satisfy the long-waiting (and sometimes impatient) customers. On the flip side (again), production ramps take time and these are significant refreshes, so Tesla may need to take it slow & steady. We shall see.

As far as the factory split in the second quarter, Troy is estimating delivery of 104,689 vehicles produced in Fremont and delivery of 90,311 vehicles produced in Shanghai, getting the factories closer and closer together in vehicle output.

In total, then, Troy’s forecast pegs Q2 at 195,000 deliveries, 15,000 below my forecast of 210,000.

In the third quarter, here’s the comparison:

  • Troy: Tesla Model 3 = 120,550
  • Zach: Tesla Model 3 = 110,000
  • Troy: Tesla Model Y = 84,560
  • Zach: Tesla Model Y = 120,000
  • Troy: Tesla Model S/X = 5,850
  • Zach: Tesla Model S/X = 10,000

Again, I’m assuming less emphasis on Model 3 and more effort to produce more Model Y vehicles. But this is just a WAG, as indicated in my first article about the forecasts.

Clearly, though, I got quite a bit more ambitious about the Model Y production ramp across the globe. Perhaps I was overly ambitious with that. However, I will note that some people are forecasting a million plus Tesla deliveries in 2021, and I’m only at 910,200. (Of course, some people are forecasting 700,000 deliveries in 2021.)

Troy is again expecting a slower Model S/X ramp. I was concerned mine was too slow, so I’m happy that Troy’s is even more conservative. Though, it also makes me think I should scale mine back further. On the other hand, if I listen to other commenters, Troy and I should both be much more bullish about the refreshed S & X!

As far as the factory forecasts, Troy is expecting 115,750 vehicles will be delivered that were produced in Fremont, California; 93,410 will come from Shanghai, China; 1,000 (all Model Y) will come out of the fresh new gigafactory in Berlin, Germany; and 800 will come from the even fresher Texas gigafactory.

The total estimate for the quarter is thus 210,960, about 29,000 below my forecast of 240,000. (In other words, he expects production and deliveries to ramp up in Q3 to the level I expect them to ramp up to in Q2.)

In the fourth quarter, here’s how our forecasts split out:

  • Troy: Tesla Model 3 = 127,715
  • Zach: Tesla Model 3 = 117,000
  • Troy: Tesla Model Y = 120,100
  • Zach: Tesla Model Y = 143,000
  • Troy: Tesla Model S/X = 11,350
  • Zach: Tesla Model S/X = 10,000

Troy’s again ~10,000 units more ambitious than me on the Model 3. And I’m again far more ambitious on the Model Y (~23,000 units). We nearly match up on the S & X, though!

As far as the factories go, Troy has Fremont coming in at 120,765; Shanghai finally surpassing it at 122,400 (never to look back); Berlin to be at 8,000; and Texas to get to the whopping total of 8,050 and passing up Berlin at an early stage.

Troy also sneaks the Cybertruck in with 50 units delivered at the end of the year. I’m being slightly more pessimistic on the Cybertruck and putting my expectations off to 2022. He also slipped 25 units of the Semi in there, and I didn’t even know we were considering the Semi! (Honestly, though, I am concerned the Semi gets pushed to 2022. It’s all about the batteries.)

Troy’s total for Q4 comes to 259,240 (Semi and Cybertruck included), whereas mine comes to 275,400.

Adding everything up, Troy has a total of 850,000 for the year and I have a total of 910,200. The model split is as follows:

Model 3

  • Troy: 484,277
  • Zach: 452,000

Model Y

  • Troy: 345,239
  • Zach: 424,780

Model S/X

  • Troy: 20,409
  • Zach: 33,420

Interestingly, I hadn’t even calculated my model totals for the year before just now. That was fun!

Troy’s factory split for the full year is as follows:

  • Fremont — 446,724
  • Giga Shanghai — 385,401
  • Giga Berlin — 9,000
  • Giga Texas — 8,850
  • Giga Nevada — 25 (yes, 25!)

But it doesn’t really matter what we think. What do you think?

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Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.


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