Tesla delivered 180,570 of its Model S/X and Model 3/Y sedans over the three months ending in December, a 61.2% increase from the same period last year that brings its year-end total to 499,550, just shy of founder and CEO Elon Musk's 500,000 target. Tesla's year-end production total was pegged at 509,737 vehicles, the company said, after a 71.4% increase in fourth quarter figures to a record 179,757.
"With TSLA exiting the year at a 180K run-rate, with output from the Shanghai factory scaling and the Berlin factory coming on line, we are a little surprised that the consensus delivery outlook for 2021 is only 784K units," said JMP Securities analyst Joseph Osha. "Our own estimate stands at 841K, and based on the 4Q 2020 outcome, we would expect to see consensus 2021 delivery forecasts go up."
"We believe that TSLA sales in the U.S. have the potential to benefit from Biden administration policies, potentially including additional tax credits for EV buyers," he added. "If there is one concern we have, it would be problems in the Chinese market driven by the growing level of friction between the Chinese and U.S. governments."
Tesla shares were marked 5% higher in early trading Monday to change hands at $743.76 each, an all-time high that values the group at around $702.9 billion, more than the entire market capitalization of the world's ten largest carmakers by volume, including Toyota Motor Co. (TM) - Get Toyota Motor Corp. Report, Volkswagen AG VLKAY, Ford Motor Co. (F) - Get Ford Motor Company Report and General Motors (GM) - Get General Motors Company Report.
Tesla closed at $705.67 each on Thursday December 31, an all-time high that lifted its year-to-date gain to a staggering 743.4%.
Tesla said it delivered 442,511 Model 3/Ys over the 2020 year, alongside 57,039 for its Model S/X sedan. Production figures for each were 454,932 and 54,805 units respectively.
Wedbush analyst Dan Ives said earlier this month that the 500,000 delivery target was "not even on the map for the Street going back to the late spring/summer timeframe," and forecasts deliveries of as high as 710,000 for the current year, a 40% growth rate that would "put Tesla on a strong growth trajectory into 2022."
"Clearly, competition is increasing across the board on the EV front with a slew of domestic players in China, Europe, and the US going after Tesla's core EV stronghold, although we believe the market is growing at a brisk rate that will yield multiple winners going after the EV jackpot," Ives argued.