A stellar fourth quarter boost means that goals were met
Heading into 2020, Tesla might have an extra spring in its step, thanks to a record-setting year for electric vehicle deliveries. The California-based EV manufacturer produced a total of 104,891 units in the fourth quarter, and delivered 112,000 vehicles. Both figures are new records for the company, which has at times struggled to make good on its ambitious production and sales targets.
Tesla had forecast full-year deliveries of between 360,000 and 400,000 units for 2019 - a promise the automaker managed to keep thanks to its strong fourth quarter results. In all, 367,500 Tesla vehicles were delivered globally throughout the year, which is a 50% increase over 2018.
The bulk of Tesla's Q4 sales came from the relatively low-price, high-volume Tesla Model 3. That model accounted for 92,550 - nearly 83% - of Tesla's 112,000 total deliveries for the quarter. The more expensive Tesla Model S sedan and Tesla Model X crossover together made up the remaining 19,450 deliveries.
And there could be more record-setting quarters in Tesla's future, so long as demand doesn't slump. In a letter to investors this week, Tesla said that it has produced just fewer than 1,000 salable cars at its new manufacturing facility in Shanghai, less than 12 months after first breaking ground at the site, and the company expects to produce more than 3,000 cars per week there - or approximately 40,000 per quarter.
It remains to be seen whether Q4 2019 was, ultimately, a profitable quarter for Tesla; that revelation will come later. But it's certainly worth noting that the EV manufacturer managed $143 million in profit in Q3 2019 on 97,000 vehicle deliveries, turning the page after losing more than a billion in the first half of the year.
Historically, Tesla has struggled to make consistent profits, experiencing just five profitable quarters over more than ten years on the market prior to Q4 2019.