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Tesla (TSLA) could surprise with strong deliveries in Q1 despite production constraints

Tesla (TSLA) might surprise us with deliveries in the first quarter, despite having run into some issues on the production side.

The first quarter is about to end, and Tesla is expected to release its production and delivery results by the end of the week.

The market is trying to estimate how many vehicles Tesla might have delivered in Q1 2021 before the release.

Tesla is coming off the best quarter of its history, delivering more than 180,000 vehicles last quarter:

Model S/X16,09718,920
Model 3/Y163,660161,650

However, there’s generally a seasonal drop in deliveries between Q4 and Q1, and on top of it, Tesla has run into some production issues.

The automaker had to shut down Fremont factory for a few days due to “part supply issues.”

Furthermore, Tesla had to retool Model S and Model X production line for the refreshed version.

The company ended up not producing any Model Ss or Model Xs for most of the quarter, and it didn’t deliver many beyond liquidating the previous versions of the two electric vehicles in January.

It doesn’t set up Tesla for success in terms of deliveries in Q1, but a channel check tells us that the automaker is likely to at least deliver a record first quarter.

Tesla’s last record first quarter was achieved in Q1 2020 when the automaker delivered 88,400 cars.

Over the last year, Tesla has tightened up access to its production and delivery numbers, which we aren’t able to share like we used to, but sources familiar with the matter say that Tesla is hitting its goals in the US.

The US market is extremely important to Tesla, but it was put into question this quarter due to the prospect of potential new EV incentives that could make people think twice about pulling the trigger on a new EV until the situation is clearer.

In Europe, Tesla is actually on a faster delivery pace than last quarter based on the first two months of registrations.

In China, Tesla is expected to have a strong quarter, thanks to the start of Model Y production at Gigafactory Shanghai.

Currently, Wall Street’s consensus is strong deliveries of 173,000 vehicles in Q1 2021.

Electrek’s Take

Again, sources are telling us that Tesla is hitting its goals in the US, but they are not letting anyone know what those goals are.

In my opinion, Tesla is going to deliver a new record Q1 quarter. I know that those numbers are not as impressive for Tesla these days, but it’s still pretty good considering that production was constrained.

I think the Street might be a bit too excited with 173,000 deliveries, though it’s not impossible.

Anywhere over 120,000 deliveries, which would be a 50% year-over-year, would be good.

Anything close to last quarter’s deliveries would be truly incredible, but Model Y production in Shanghai would need to compensate for the production constrained in Fremont without even accounting for seasonal trends.

What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.

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