Tesla delivers record 310,048 vehicles globally in ‘exceptionally difficult’ Q1, Musk says

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Tesla Inc. delivered a record 310,048 cars worldwide in what Elon Musk said was an “exceptionally difficult” first quarter, as a growing tide of consumers made the switch to EVs.

The results, posted Saturday, slightly edged out expectations. Analysts had expected that 309,158 vehicles would be shipped, based on the average of estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Fluctuations in Covid-19 infection rates and rules worldwide continue to impact logistics and supply chains. The automaker also temporarily suspended production at its Shanghai factory beginning last month after the city enacted a lockdown over its worsening coronavirus outbreak. 

Tesla’s deliveries were “better than feared” given the supply chain issues, Wedbush analysts led by Dan Ives wrote in a note.

“We believe roughly 20k-25k units were pushed out of 1Q into 2Q due to the logistical and factory issues which makes this underlying demand number still look strong with a robust trajectory for the rest of 2022.”

Quarterly deliveries are among the most closely watched indicators for Tesla since they underpin the carmaker’s financial results. The figure is widely seen as a barometer for EV demand generally, since the Austin, Texas-based company has led the charge for battery-powered cars.

Tesla had said that its delivery count is conservative and that final numbers could vary by 0.5 percent or more. The company produced 305,407 vehicles for the quarter.

The carmaker doesn’t break out sales by geography, but the U.S. and China are its largest markets and the bulk of sales were of the Model 3 sedan and Y crossover.

Tesla makes the 3 and Y models, as well as the older Model S sedan and X crossover in Fremont, Calif. The Shanghai factory produces the 3 and Y models. Tesla recently began delivering Model Ys from a new plant in Berlin and will celebrate the opening of a factory in Austin with a “Cyber Rodeo” event for 15,000 people on April 7.

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