Looking At 2021 Tesla Sales Forecasts
In the middle of April 2021, I put together forecasts for Tesla sales (deliveries) in the 2nd quarter, 3rd quarter, 4th quarter, and full year. While other forecasters — including professional Wall Street analysts — adjusted their forecasts for 2021 Tesla sales significantly as the year went on, I decided to mostly stick with that April forecast and see how things turned out. (It helped a bit that my forecast for 3rd quarter sales was almost spot on, just 0.5% off the eventual total — 240,000 rather than 241,300.)
In April, my forecast for the year was 910,200 Tesla sales, which ended up being 3% lower than reality’s 936,172. By the end of the 3rd quarter, my full-year 2021 forecast had been adjusted slightly downward to 902,881 deliveries, which was 4% lower than reality’s eventual 936,172 deliveries.
As we rolled through the 4th quarter, it turned out that I had been a tad too pessimistic about that quarter’s results, forecasting 270,000 deliveries rather than the 308,600 that Tesla delivered. It was that exceptionally strong 4th quarter (in the midst of an ongoing automotive chip shortage and other supply chain challenges) that disrupted my early forecasts for the company. I feel pretty good about that, and I see that my 4th quarter estimate was less off than most. (The Bloomberg consensus for Q4 deliveries was 265,000 and the FactSet consensus was 267,000.)
We’re not done yet, though. CleanTechnica‘s Maarten Vinkhuyzen participated in the fun of forecasting Tesla sales back in the 2nd quarter as well, and his forecast came to 976,877. If you averaged his forecast and mine, you’d come very close to Tesla’s eventual delivery total. Using our April forecasts, the average would be 943,539, just 1% above Tesla’s eventual 936,172 deliveries. If you used my October forecast and Maarten’s forecast, the average would be 939,879, which doesn’t even register as a 1% miss.
At the end of it all, above is a chart of my April forecast for 2021 Tesla deliveries, Maarten’s April forecast for 2021, our averaged forecast, my later forecast at the end of Q3, and Tesla’s eventual reported figures (published yesterday).
2022 Tesla Production & Deliveries
I’m not quite ready to forecast Tesla sales in 2022. There’s clearly a lot up in the air right now — Tesla Giga Berlin and Tesla Giga Austin going online and then ramping up production, arrival and ramp-up of the Tesla Cybertruck, supply chain challenges (and solutions). I have a very rough figure in my mind, but before going beyond that, I’d like to see thoughts of CleanTechnica readers on what you expect from Tesla in terms of production and perhaps even — gasp — demand. What are your expectations for the various gigafactories, for the Model 3 and Model Y, for the Cybertruck? And what about the Plaid Model S & Model X — could they get back to higher production volumes, like 50,000 or 100,000 units a year? At the end of the day, my knowledge of cleantech matters and insights on the topic come a great deal from our readers. Naturally, I read the news I can, I find the facts I can, but many of the best sources and many of our best insights come from the comments under articles here on CleanTechnica.