How many units were ultimately delivered?
While 2020 proved to be an immensely difficult year for automakers and the world in general, Tesla's achievements were extraordinary. Not only did it break ground on two new factories, begin production of the Model Y crossover, it also became the world's most valuable automaker. Last month, it joined Standard & Poor's 500 Index after posting five consecutive quarterly profits.
Meanwhile, the Tesla Model 3 continues to be the world's best-selling electric vehicle. Still, there was one goal Tesla didn't achieve but it came very close. As we reported throughout December, Tesla was ramping up production and even offering extremely generous incentives to meet its 2020 delivery goal of 500,000 vehicles.
With the assembly Model S and Model X assembly lines temporarily shut down for unknown reasons until later this month, the Model 3 and Model Y had to pick up the slack. Despite Tesla's best efforts, it barely missed that half a million delivery goal. All told, Tesla delivered 499,550 vehicles in 2020, falling short by a mere 450 units. However, it did deliver 180,570 vehicles in the final business quarter of 2020, surpassing its previous record of 139,300 from Q3 2020. It also increased total deliveries by 36 percent (up from 367,500) compared to 2019.
"In 2020, we produced and delivered half a million vehicles, in line with our most recent guidance. In addition, Model Y production in Shanghai has begun, with deliveries expected to begin shortly," Tesla announced shortly after releasing final 2020 figures.
Tesla's brilliant sprint towards the finish line, though not quite fast enough, still hasn't gone unnoticed. Industry analysts note Tesla's impressive ability to turn itself from a niche luxury brand selling just two vehicles into a mainstream one with affordable offerings and more to come in only a few years' time. The Volkswagen Group, in particular, has declared Tesla its top rival as it continues to pour billions into its own EV, autonomous, and battery development programs.
Elon Musk's 2020 delivery goal may not have been met, but he and his company have changed the automotive world forever.