Total sales in 2018 could exceed 250,000

In the first three quarters of 2018 Tesla delivered some 154,540 electric cars and we assume that in the fourth quarter sales could reach 100,000, which would bring the YTD result to almost 255,000 (comparable to total sales in the past four years 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 - 261,779).

Tesla said that Model S and Model X sales will be around 100,000 this year, which at 71,844 YTD brings the forecast to 28,156 in Q4. In Q4 2017, Tesla sold some 28,425 S/X, which makes it totally doable.

To achieve 100,000 sales in Q4, sales of Model 3 would then need to be around 72,000 or around 6,000 a week, on average.

Tesla reported that in the last week of Q3 it achieved production of 5,300 Model 3, despite mostly all-wheel-drive cars that are significantly more complex to build. To us, it sounds like 6,000 mostly RWD should be easy to achieve.

The question is now by how much Tesla will overshoot our estimate of 100,000.

Tesla Model S/X/3 Deliveries (quarterly) – forecast through December 2018

Tesla Model S/X/3 Deliveries (quarterly) – forecast through December 2018

At nearly 85,000 sales in a quarter, Tesla has the ability to produce around 340,000 cars annually. After Q4 it should be proven that a level of over 400,000 could be achieved without much new investment.

At the pace of 500,000 in 2019, however, Tesla will be feeling constraints of the Tesla Factory in Fremont, California.