Tesla sold half a million cars last year

Big quote: “In 2020, we produced and delivered half a million vehicles, in line with our most recent guidance,” reads Tesla’s briefing. “In addition, Model Y production in Shanghai has begun, with deliveries expected to begin shortly.”

Tesla was battered by an onslaught of challenges in 2020, but still broke through the half a million barrier – or almost broke through it, depending on how it’s counted. Last year, they produced a total of 509,737 cars and delivered 499,550. They do say their counts are conservative, though, because not all the paperwork has gone through.

Due to the pandemic and subsequent factory closures, Tesla’s successes weren’t constant throughout the year. In Q1, they produced 102,672 cars and delivered 88,400. In Q2, they produced 82,272 cars, a 20% decrease, and delivered 90,650, a 3% increase.

In Q3 production skyrocketed. They produced 145,036 cars and delivered 139,300. In Q4, the upwards trend continued: they produced 179,757 cars, a 24% increase, and delivered 180,570, a 30% increase. If the current growth rate is sustainable, then Tesla could sell one million cars in 2021.

Interestingly, sales of Model S and Model X cars decreased as a portion of total sales throughout the year. Consumers are buying ten times more mid-range Model 3 and Model Y cars.

For Tesla, the future is promising. Development of the Cybertruck, semi-trailer, and the next-generation Roadster is nearing completion. The Shanghai Gigafactory is dialing up production.

Partly because of their recent successes, and partly because of their anticipated future successes, Tesla’s stock has hit astronomical levels. Share price is above $700, which is ten times higher than 2020’s lowest price from mid-March. Their current market cap of almost $680 billion has made Tesla the most valuable automaker in the world.

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