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What just happened? With Covid-related restrictions largely in the rearview, Tesla was able to ramp up production and deliveries in the third quarter. For the three-month period ending September 30, the electric automaker produced 365,923 vehicles – up 54 percent compared to the 237,823 units that rolled off the assembly line during the same period a year ago.
Deliveries, meanwhile, increased 42 percent year over year from 241,300 models to 343,830 models. It is a new quarterly record for the EV maker despite falling short of analysts' expectations. Refinitiv analysts expecting 359,162 deliveries and those with Street Account were anticipating 364,660 deliveries.
Broken down further, Model 3 and Model Y vehicles accounted for the lion's share of production and deliveries – 345,988 and 325,158, respectively. A combined 19,935 Model S and Model X vehicles accounted for the remaining production capacity, and 18,672 of these models were delivered to customers during the three-month period.
Tesla highlighted a recent change that aims to make the delivery process smoother. Traditionally, delivery volume has skewed towards the end of each quarter but as production volume continues to grow, it has become increasingly difficult to secure vehicle transportation capacity at a reasonable cost during these peak logistics periods.
Exactly. Giga Shanghai makes cars for export in first half of quarter, then cars for far away parts of China, then cars for nearby parts of China.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 22, 2021
Net result is a crazy wave of deliveries end of quarter. It is tough on our team, so we're hoping to reduce the wave in Q4 & Q1.
In the third quarter, Tesla started transitioning to a more even mix of weekly vehicle builds in hopes of reducing the transit bottleneck at the end of each quarter.
Tesla shares are down 6.55 percent to $247.88 in trading as of this writing on the news.
The EV maker saw deliveries drop sharply last quarter due to Covid-related shutdowns in China and supply chain issues. For the three-month period ending June 30, Tesla tallied just 254,695 vehicle deliveries. In August, CEO Elon Musk said the company had produced over three million vehicles to date with a third of them coming directly from its Shanghai factory in China.
Tesla is expected to share financial results for the third quarter after the market closes on October 19, 2022.
Image credit: Makara Heng