Tesla Motors delivered 11,580 Model S (and a handful of Model X) vehicles in the third quarter of this year. The shipment numbers are in line with Tesla's previous guidance and represents a 49% increase from the same period last year.
Tesla (tsla) had said it expected to deliver about the same number of cars it shipped in the previous quarter, which was 11,507. Tesla CEO Elon Musk hand delivered six (including one for himself) Model X vehicles at a splashy event Sept. 29.
The company said it expected to produce 12,000 cars in the third quarter of this year, including “a small number of Model X deliveries.” Tesla did not provide production numbers for the third quarter.
To date, the Palo Alto-based company has delivered 33,117 vehicles. The company is trying to deliver 55,000 cars this year, two thirds more than it did in 2014. Last month, Tesla lowered its guidance for the amount of cars it would ship for the full year from 55,000, to “between 50,000 and 55,000” to account for potential supplier issues as production of the Model X sport utility vehicle begins in earnest in the fourth quarter.
During the third quarter, Tesla shut down its Fremont, Calif. factory for a week to make final preparations for the production of the Model X, including installing new equipment. The company spent much of 2015 preparing its factory to handle both Model S and X production. Tesla will have two body lines, the first dedicated to the Model S and the second for the Model X. Once the cars go through their respective body lines, they’ll merge and head off to paint. Once complete, they’ll go to general assembly where the both cars will be built on the same line.
The fourth quarter will be a critical test for Tesla as it juggles the manufacturing and logistical challenges for producing and shipping two different cars assembled on the same line. And it's certainly trying to avoid the issues that sprang up last year at this time after it unveiled its Performance All-Wheel Drive Dual Motor (P85D) Model S.
In 2014, Tesla fell short of its car delivery goal for the fourth quarter, and as a result, for the year. The company delivered 9,834 Model S vehicles in the fourth quarter, falling short of the 11,200 it needed to deliver to meet its year-end—and recently revised—goal of 33,000. At the time, Tesla blamed the shortfall on production delays of its P85D Model S, which pushed some deliveries to the first quarter of 2015. The company also said the lower-than-expected deliveries were caused by a combination of other factors including customers “being on vacation, severe winter weather and shipping problems (with actual ships).”
(Correction: The original version of this article misstated whether Tesla had met its goal for third quarter car shipments. In fact, it did meet its goal. The story and its headline have been updated)
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