Tesla has revealed more than 14,000 of its electric vehicles were delivered during the first quarter of 2016, up almost 50 percent on the same time last year.
Tesla said the Q1 results should equate to success for the remaining quarters in 2016, with the carmaker aiming for between 80,000 and 90,000 deliveries by year’s end.
Such a result would put Tesla well ahead of the 50,580 cars it delivered last year,and the Q1 figures could have been better still if not for supplier parts shortages with the Model X.
Tesla says these issues are now resolved, with the build-rate for Model Xs reaching 750 vehicles per week by the end of last month.
Furthermore, the carmaker says lessons learned from this Model X parts setback mean the same problems will not be repeated when the Model 3 is sent down the production line.
Order figures for the Model S basically match deliveries, with the number of buyers placing a deposit on a new Model S rising 45 percent when compared to Q1 last year.
This is rare territory for Tesla, which usually keeps its pre-order numbers under wraps. But the carmaker made an exception (sort-of) for Q1 2016 owing to the “unusual circumstances of this quarter”.
In a nutshell, we can expect deliveries to increase dramatically once the 45 percent increase in orders translates to cars in owner’s driveways and assuming Tesla can keep up with the demand.
Speaking of demand, industry paper Automotive News reports Tesla’s first people’s car - the Model 3 - has been an instant hit, with around 276,000 deposits laid down in the first three days alone since the order book opened.
The confirmed US$35,000 starting-price in the US may have helped here, but buyers in other markets including Australia have already signed up without knowing the locked-in purchase price of their new cars.
Production is not scheduled to start until the end of next year, so buyers towards the end of that pre-order list are facing the longest of long waits before they take delivery of their Model 3. Market analysts have predicted the wait could stretch beyond 2020.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted that the “average price” of a Model 3 with popular options included would be around US$42,000, meaning the pre-order list is currently worth around US$11.6 billion to the US carmaker - and rising.
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