American EV pioneer Tesla has again broken its own deliveries record – and defied expectations – through the first quarter of 2021, delivering a total of nearly 185,000 cars, more than double the same quarter a year earlier.

Tesla published its quarterly production and delivery figures for the first quarter late last week in the US. It was a quarter that most analysts had expected – due to seasonal conditions – would be down on the company’s record-breaking 2020 fourth quarter, in which it produced a total of 179,757 models and delivered 180,570.

Tesla also had to shut down its Fremont, California, factory for a few days in February due to an industry-wide silicon chip shortage, and also needed to retool Model S and Model X production lines for the revised model version.

According to Tesla’s own figures, the company produced no new Model S or Model X vehicles during the first quarter, and only delivered a comparative handful of these models by liquidating the previous versions of the two EV models in January.

Regardless, Tesla nevertheless broke its production and delivery records. Production of the Model 3 and Model Y accounted for the entirety of production for the quarter, and still broke previous the previous record for total quarterly production set in Q4’ 2020 by a small margin.  The production of the Model 3/X increased by 10% against the previous quarter.

Deliveries were similarly impressive, with only 2,020 Model S and Model X delivered through the quarter, and 182,780 Model 3 and Model Y delivered, for a total of 184,800, a marginal 2% increase over the fourth quarter and the previous record, but a 109% increase over the same quarter a year earlier.

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The company said little in response to yet another record-breaking quarter for production and deliveries, adding only that they were “encouraged by the strong reception of the Model Y in China and are quickly progressing to full production capacity.”

It also said the new Model S and Model X “have also been exceptionally well received, with the new equipment installed and tested in Q1 and we are in the early stages of ramping production.”

In response, privately held investment firm Wedbush Securities upgraded its outlook for Tesla from “hold” to “outperform” based on the news.

“In our opinion the 1Q delivery numbers released on Friday was a paradigm changer and shows that the pent-up demand globally for Tesla’s Model 3/Y is hitting its next stage of growth as part of a global green tidal wave underway,” said Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives.

“We now believe Tesla could exceed 850k deliveries for the year with 900k a stretch goal, despite the chip shortage and various supply chain issues lingering across the auto sector.

“While the EV sector and Tesla shares have been under significant pressure so far this year, we believe the tide is turning on the Street and the eye-popping delivery numbers coming out of China cannot be ignored with the trajectory on pace to represent ~40% of deliveries for Musk & Co. by 2022.”



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