Pedal to the metal

Tesla has put the pedal to the metal with production and delivery of its vehicles this quarter, and shares close the day up 4.43% after a Q1 vehicle sales surge. Shares jumped up 7% initially on April 2 after Tesla shared its strong Q1 vehicle delivery and production numbers, which reported that the company delivered 184,800 vehicles and produced 180,338 cars in the first quarter of 2021. The higher delivery numbers suggest that the company is successfully ramping up production, an issue which has dragged it down in the past, and is now working through the delivery stockpiles, supply chain issues and backlogs from COVID-19. Analyst expectations were more around the 168,000 mark, and Tesla beat estimates pretty safely, while at the same time beating its own quarterly record. Good times all round. Of the cars Tesla delivered, most were the Model 3 and Model Y, although the company also sold an extra 1,010 Model S cars built in previous quarters. The company is now ramping up production on its X and S Models, after making some tweaks that were “exceptionally well-received” according to Musk. One of its biggest markets, China, is also pumping: a February filing showed that Tesla’s sales in China more than doubled in 2020, with sales from the region making up about a fifth of Tesla’s $31.54 billion revenues. No wonder the share price is storming. The company is ahead of the trend as per, and has already started scaling up production at its Gigafactory in Shanghai — which, according to Q4 2020 figures, could produce as many as 1.05 million cars vehicles in a year. But it’s not only cars that are pushing the company towards growth; its solar power business is also expanding. In a new development this week, Tesla’s Megapacks will be used by tech giant Apple at its new battery-based renewable energy storage facility in California. Quarterly production and delivery numbers are always a nice early indicator of how the quarter has gone before earnings come out. Last year the company only just missed its goal of producing 500,000 cars in 2020, cruising in at 499,550 vehicles, and it sent the stock spiralling upwards. Compared to the 88,400 cars it delivered in Q1 2020, it looks like Tesla is in the fast lane to beating its target hollow this year.

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