The company delivered 88,400 vehicles to customers worldwide in the first three months of the year, up 40% from the year-earlier period and topping consensus expectations for just under 80,000 units. Production totaled 102,672, rising by a third from 77,100 in 2019’s first quarter. Even with the addition of the Shanghai Gigafactory that opened early this year, deliveries dropped 21% from last quarter and production slipped 2.1%.
The better than expected year-over-year figures pleased some investors, with Tesla rising more than 15% in after-hours Nasdaq
Tesla began 2020 on a hot streak, with the opening its first plant in China, starting Model Y crossover production ahead of schedule and its share price reaching the stratosphere in February, pushing the company’s market cap to a record $168.8 billion on February 19. But that was all before the full impact of the coronavirus was felt in the U.S., leading to the shutdown of production operations at Musk’s main electric-car plant in Fremont, California.
“Our Shanghai factory continued to achieve record levels of production, despite significant setbacks,” the company said in a statement, without providing any details. The Shanghai plant officially opened on Jan. 7, but was shut down for about two weeks, starting in late January, as China dealt with the initial outbreak of the coronavirus. The company didn’t say when it restarted though Musk tweeted on March 19 that “China is operating normally across hundreds of suppliers & all of Tesla Shanghai.”
Tesla’s income, revenue and complete quarterly results will be released in the next few weeks, and the company didn’t provide any guidance on Thursday.
Although the quarterly numbers beat analysts’ expectations, the months ahead are going to be tough for all automakers, including Tesla, said Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi, Jr, who rates its shares Market Perform.
“Prevailing economic weakness in Q2 and Q3 could potentially dwarf the Great Financial Crisis,” he wrote in a research note prior to Tesla’s quarterly figures. “We note that developed markets (80%+ of TSLA’s revenues) saw auto sales–both luxury and non-luxury–fall 20%+ from 2007 to 2009, and take nearly a decade to fully recover. Recoveries have taken 3 – 5 years following other recessionary periods.”
Quarterly deliveries included 76,200 units of Model 3 sedans and Model Y crossovers, and 12,200 units of Tesla’s pricier Model S sedan and Model X CUV, which can sell for more than $100,000 each.