California-based Tesla Inc. beat analysts’ estimates of deliveries for the first quarter of 2017 by setting a record of 25,000 deliveries. Average forecast from three analysts was 24,200.
Tesla is targeting 50,000 deliveries for the 1st half of 2017.
Ben Kallo, an analyst at Robert W. Baird & Co., said, “It’s all about the Model 3 right now, but this is very good news. 25,000 units is the best we could have thought, and people are looking at Model 3 for growth.”
Tesla reported deliveries of 13,450 Model S sedans as well as 11,550 Model X sport utility vehicles. Total production for the 1st quarter of this year was 25,418. Tesla said that around 4,660 vehicles were in transit to reach customers at the end of the 1st quarter. These figures will count as deliveries for the 2nd quarter. Tesla has not provided a full year production target for 2017.
All eyes are on its Model 3 debut in July. It will be its first high-volume, low-priced vehicle. It intends to make its other vehicles more exclusive. Starting price for the Model 3 is seen to be at $35,000. Model X and Model S are both priced above $70,000.
Tesla’s stock has gone up 30% this year because of positive expectations for the Model 3 and the recent 5% stake investment of Tencent Holdings Inc. in Tesla. Tencent’s stake is valued at over $2.2 billion. Tencent is now Tesla’s fifth largest shareholder. Other major investors of Tesla include Bailie Gifford and T Rowe Price.
Current market value of Tesla is at $45.4 billion. Last month, Tesla was able to raise more than $1.2 billion using stock and debt sale. This will help finance expenses related to making Model 3.
Tesla made a profit for the first time in three years in the 3rd quarter of 2016 but was unable to sustain it the following quarter and posted a $121 million loss. Analysts expect Tesla to make a loss of $125 for the first quarter of 2017 according to a survey done by S&P Capital IQ.
Tesla will discontinue its Model S vehicle on April 17. For 2018, Tesla seeks to build half a million cars at its $5 billion Gigafactory east of Reno, Nevada. It will also produce in its Gigafactory residential storage technology that could power homes using solar energy. Also, the Gigafactory would build lithium-ion cells that are required for the vehicle battery packs.
Tesla uses quarterly sales figures compared to monthly figures provided by other vehicle makers. A delivery only counts if the car is completely transferred to the customer.
Tesla’s Model 3 will be sold in major markets including India. Deliveries for the Model 3 will start at the end of this year. Tesla seeks to get a footprint in China where Tencent’s investment might help them penetrate the market. Tesla is the U.S. youngest car maker.
Musk also has other grand plans outside Tesla. He has SpaceX which aims to bring humans to space in 2018 as well as Neuralink, which seeks to have the brain utilize artificial intelligence.