Tesla Model 3 deliveries top Wall Street expectations

TeslaTesla CEO Elon Musk.


Tesla delivered 55,840 Model 3 sedans in the third quarter, it said Tuesday, topping its guidance of 52,425 and Wall Street’s expected 55,600.*

Total vehicle deliveries came in at 83,500, also beating both the company’s forecasts and analysts’ expectations.

Shares of Tesla rose about 1.5% early Tuesday following the announcement.

“In Q3, we were able to significantly increase Model S and X deliveries notwithstanding the headwinds we have been facing from the ongoing trade tensions between the US and China,” the company said in a press release. “Those trade tensions have resulted in an import tariff rate of 40% on Tesla vehicles versus 15% for other imported cars in China.”

The electric-car maker said it was still on track to deliver 100,000 Model S and Model X vehicles for 2018.

Tuesday’s delivery announcement comes after an all-hands-on-deck push by Tesla to finish the quarter strong. In an email dated September 30, one day before the end of the quarter, CEO Elon Musk told employees the company was “very close to achieving profitability.”

Tesla’s Model 3 is widely seen as the company’s path to profitability. The company’s latest run rate, however, may not be sufficient for Tesla to become cash-flow positive this year, as Musk has said. According to Evercore Research, Model 3 deliveries of 65,000 to 70,000 “will give Tesla a strong probability of achieving its financial targets.”

But there is still no base-model version of the Model 3 under production. Musk has said the $US35,000 version will arrive this year, but experts have told Business Insider’s Mark Matousek that’s “highly unlikely.” In August, analysts from the investment bank UBS tore apart a Model 3, analysed its construction, and projected that a $US35,000 Model 3 would generate a loss of $US5,900 a vehicle.

Some customers have reported significant problems with their Model 3s and other Tesla vehicles shortly after receiving them, and Business Insider reported in August that a much higher percentage of Model 3s produced at the end of June required rework than a car at another auto plant might have.

Tesla is expected to report its third-quarter earnings on October 31.

*An earlier version of this article misstated Tesla’s total delivery numbers for the Model 3.



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