Tesla Model 3 Sales: How Many Will Tesla Sell In 2019?


FEB 19 2019 BY EVANNEX 96


The Tesla Model 3 has quickly conquered the luxury car segment. In its full first year on the market, the new EV sold an estimated 138,000 units in the US, beating out the Lexus RX, which sold 111,641 units, and sailing past the BMW 3 and 4 series, which sold 75,957 vehicles.

*This article comes to us courtesy of EVANNEX (which also makes aftermarket Tesla accessories). Authored by Charles Morris. The opinions expressed in these articles are not necessarily our own at InsideEVs.

Above: Tesla delivers its Model 3 to a happy family in Europe (Twitter: Tesla)

Numerous writers in the popular press, including Niall McCarthy (Forbes) and Peter Valdés-Dapena (CNN Business) lauded the company’s achievement, and noted that it’s especially impressive considering that Tesla has no traditional dealers, and does no advertising, and that currently available variants of Model 3 are pricey even by luxury standards, with a starting price that’s now at $42,900.

Tesla is on a serious roll – it sold almost as many cars in 2018 as it sold in all the years since its founding in 2003. The big question now is, will this level of Model 3 demand hold up? There are several reasons to believe that it will.

Model 3 deliveries are just beginning in Europe and China. There are an estimated 100,000 reservations outstanding in Europe, which should be enough to keep the party going for some time. And there are plenty of US reservation holders still waiting for their promised $35,000 Model 3, which Tesla hopes to deliver in four to six months.

Above: Tesla Model 3 ranked higher than all other luxury cars and SUVs in the US in 2018 (Source: Forbes via Statista)

Audi plans to start delivering its new e-tron in Europe in March, and the Porsche Taycan is expected to arrive later this year. While superficial observers see these new entrants as a threat to Tesla, EV cognoscenti tend to take the opposite view. Pure electric vehicles made up just 1.2% of all vehicle sales in the US last year, according to Edmunds. The potential market is enormous, and as more automakers start publicizing their electric models, consumer awareness can only grow. For Elon Musk’s part, he’s been practically begging the legacy automakers to start getting serious about electrification.

In Tesla’s fourth-quarter shareholder letter, the company said it expects to deliver between 360,000 and 400,000 vehicles in 2019, which would be an increase of 45% to 65% compared to 2018.

Is this a realistic forecast? Daniel Sparks, writing in The Motley Fool, believes Tesla is “approaching its guidance conservatively this time.” Reaching the midpoint of the forecast range wouldn’t require a significant increase in the rate of production – to deliver 364,000 vehicles in 2019, the company only needs to maintain the rate of deliveries it achieved in Q4 2018.

Above: Model 3 fleet ready for deliveries near Xingang Port, Tianjin, China (Twitter: Jay in Shanghai via 李大锤同学微博)

Sparks also believes the demand is “almost certainly” there, considering the gathering momentum in Europe and China. If Tesla can get the $35,000 version of Model 3 on the road, it will be able to reach “a much broader customer base,” enabling it to meet or exceed its high-end goal of 400,000 vehicles in 2019.


Written by: Charles Morris

*Editor’s Note: EVANNEX, which also sells aftermarket gear for Teslas, has kindly allowed us to share some of its content with our readers, free of charge. Our thanks go out to EVANNEX. Check out the site here.

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96 Comments on "Tesla Model 3 Sales: How Many Will Tesla Sell In 2019?"

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As many as they can build

At the current price I wouldn’t be too sure about that.
If Tesla can average 8k model per week they will produce over 400k Model 3 in 2019. The 35k$/€ Model 3 has to come pretty soon at this rate to keep the demand high.

If they bring the europeans the hitch- demand for current expensive model will rise by a lot

Maybe it’s different in the Nordic countries, but in Germany you rarely see any midsize sedans with a hitch. The rate on new cars that get equipped with such is 13% here and that’s including all the SUVs. I don’t think people care about a hitch all that much, at least those who are in the market for the Model 3

I disagree. On the german Autobahn you can see especially in summertime many cars using hitch for bycicle-transport. Lack of hitch is a demand-Killer here in Germany.

I’m surprised by all the comments demanding a hitch for the Model 3. If you look at the cars typically seen on American highways, only about 1% of them are towing anything.

Maybe the percentage is higher in Europe, but frankly I doubt it.

Yes, all these people are probably demanding hitches just to pull your leg…

Exactly…All depends when the $35K deliveries start…

The price of the least expensive 3 has dropped, what, 3 times now? I imagine that there will be one more intermediate drop before we get to $35k. Tesla needs to harvest every dollar they can before the roll out the base model without an PuP or options of any sort. So $42.9k now, maybe $39k later this year.
And it also possible that the $35k Model 3 will go the way of the 40 kWh Model S. Cancelled due to “lack of demand”. I don’t think that will happen, but I do think that it is very possible that the sales of Model 3’s available at $35k will be throttled by Tesla, releasing just a relative handful (1,000? 2,000?) every month. Most of the people that are waiting will buy an option or two to get their 3 sooner, though a certain percentage will drop out.

“And it also possible that the $35k Model 3 will go the way of the 40 kWh Model S. Cancelled due to ‘lack of demand’.”

Why the scare quotes around “lack of demand”? Reportedly, only about 2% of the preorders for the Model S were for the 40 kWh version, so it didn’t make any financial sense to produce that.

Contrariwise, a substantial number of Model 3 reservations are from people who want the Standard Range version.

I can understand why those waiting for the SR Model 3 are worried that Tesla might cancel plans to make it, but I don’t regard that as a rational worry. There’s no way Tesla is going to leave all that demand just sitting on the table. Pent-up demand for the higher trim levels in the U.S. and Canada has been exhausted. When it’s close to being exhausted worldwide, then we can be reasonably sure Tesla will start selling the SR TM3.

why do you keep saying 35k? you do know that the average german car costs close to twice in europe than in the US.. in reverse for us cars that 35k will be more like 42 euros or 50,000 USD. note that all makers have difficulty selling cars above 27,000 euros.. Norway has one of europes highest house incomes, rest of europe does not…

Tesla has many, many demand levers they can pull besides a cheaper base Model 3. These include, but are not limited to:
1 – Reintroducing the RWD Long Range
2 – Leasing
3 – New colors
4 – New autopilot hardware
5 – Reducing prices of existing options (IE, offer EAP for cheaper, which they already do in China)
6 – Expanding to more markets, IE, the RHD markets.
7 – Ludicrous Model 3
8 – Smart Air Suspension
9 – Even longer range Model 3

I could go on and on, but I think you might be getting the idea (and if you aren’t, I don’t know that another 9 would change that) – Tesla has endless demand levers they could be pulling. The fact that they have so many available that they aren’t touching indicates that demand is very strong without any of them.

1, 2 and 6 are the big ones. Must have hitch! Leasing and in-store financing will do more to drive sales than anything else.

true, bot not when it charges 8000 usd to unlock most of the functions that you point out…

Or just pull the Model Y lever.

Fears about Tesla Finding buyers for their products has been over hyped for over a decade going all the way back to the original roadster.

Nix nails it.

Right now, Tesla is literally selling their cars BY THE BOATLOAD!!!

Meanwhile the same serial anti-Tesla trolls will continue to gnash their teeth and deny reality.

Nix hammers the bullseye, with the Model Y nail!

Once the availability of the $45k SR Model Y goes nationwide, Tesla will have over the top demand, that we have nEVer seen before.

“If Tesla can average 8k model per week they will produce over 400k Model 3 in 2019.”

7K TM3’s per week seems to be about the maximum they can produce, so long as Tesla has only one working auto assembly plant. Fremont has to produce all of the Model 3’s and Model X’s, too.

When they get the Shanghai Gigafactory production lines up and running, and/or when they get production lines at Gigafactory 1 installed and running, then we will see an increase in volume… altho any production at Gf1 may be only for the Model Y.

I saw something about, 10k for total cars per week, 3, S and X.

They are not going to average 8K per week model3. Where did you get that figure?
They are planning on being consistently at 7k per week by the end of the year at Fremont. China may or may not be in production by then.
S and X is expected to be less than last year.

So across the whole of 2019 they might average 5500-6k per week model3.

Their guidance is right on.

I actually think that it really depends on Donald Trump. People tend to forget that he is still planning to put a 25% tariff on cars coming from Europe/Germany. The EU already said that they are ready to reatilliate on those tariffs and Tesla has no factories in Europe unlike pretty much every other manufacturer so I think that they will be hit the hardest of them all if the tariffs are actually implemented

I’m quite confident that Tesla will outlast the Orange One’s presidency. At worst, that will almost certainly last less than two more years. It will be a long time before the United States of America can recover from all the damage done by the organized crime gang currently running our government, but eventually it’s going to come to an end.


I shake my head at referencing financial “analysts” from CNN, Motley Fool, and Forbes for “guidance” on how Tesla’s production numbers. These “analysts” are merely spit-balling based on.. what?? It ain’t like they’ve got Elon on speed dial, and he sure as hell ain’t throwing industry wafflers any bones, yet here we constantly are- referring to the “analysts” like they’re the wise man up on the mountain, who knows all the secret industry information. These same “analysts” can/will change their minds this week or next, depending on where the emotional stock market winds blow, with nary an ounce of accountability to their contrary opinion of yesterday.

Torture numbers long enough, and they’ll tell you whatever you want them to say. The only real crystal ball is to simply sit back and wait and see, because no one knows for sure. For every “analyst” who’s long in Tesla and says it’s all roses, I’ve got a shorter who says they’re weeks away from permanently tanking. And for the record, this article is by EVANNEX, I wonder which undetermined Tesla future they hope for?

I’m sure you can provide better guidance than these “analysts”, right? Lol

Throwing a dart at chart full of numbers would be just as accurate as most of the “analysts”

Actually, if you took the time to read what I wrote, you’d see that I already made my crystal ball prediction. But you couldn’t hit the ‘respond’ button fast enough, so I understand how you’d miss it.

Yes, easily. Those people have been wrong for years.

Yeah, just like we could trust GM’s promised 25 new EV models, right?

Dude, a barrel of monkeys throwing darts at a board would be more accurate than nearly all self-appointed “analysts” making public predictions about Tesla.

Despite the fact that I’m not a “financial guy”, my own predictions about Tesla have been considerably more accurate than most if not all of those “analysts”, altho frankly their accuracy rate regarding Tesla is so poor that it’s nothing I deserve to brag about.

You know, these «experts» dont have a clue, only thinking fifteen minutes ahead at best..
Every other month for five years we have been hearing; the teslakillers are coming next year..

You mean these “Expert Stock Manipulators” with an Agenda..

Exactly. I can understand why, for example, CNBC and Motley Fool give attention to the stock manipulators; they exist mainly to cater to the manipulators. It’s their business model. It’s part of how the very rich get richer, by manipulating the small investor into transferring wealth to the very rich.

But I do not understand, I doubt I’ll ever understand, why EV news sites like InsideEVs give the manipulators the same sort of undeserved attention. The only attention they deserve is to analyze just how inaccurate their predictions about the EV market and about Tesla have been!

they are not out to lunch just because they have a financial expertise and you have an environmental wish. Once my country removed a 10,000 USD incentive, orders for teslas dropped close to zero… and they sold five thousand or so last year with the incentive. their prices sre uber rich luxury where i am and its north america!!! yes ony five or so thousands in canada out of millions and tanked as of this february,,.

“currently available variants of Model 3 are pricey even by luxury standards, with a starting price that’s now at $42,900”, nope Model 3 MR actually costs about the same as a similarly specced and performing BMW 330i with lower TCO to boot so it is definitely not pricey by luxury standards.

That said the sales pattern so far plus my estimate that post incentive prices in the US might drop very much anymore if at all (Tesla stopped mentioning the SR version on its website…)I would say the lower end of Tesla’s guidance of 360K vehicles of all models is pretty realistic and frankly a fantastic result that will not be matched in the industry for many years to come.

BMW sold 15 million 3 series and their cheapest car is an ULSAB AC construction with a 37,000 NM/ degree and expected to last decades no corrosion. the prev 3 series was 29,000 and far above the 2006 paganinzonda.. in retrospect the other brand is good short term quality but overpriced with 8,000 $ locked options… and a far less premium construct..

The removal of any reference to the “standard range” model 3 on Tesla’s website is a good sign, that suggests they may have enough demand at the MR level to sell all they can build until the Shanghai gigafactory comes online. VIN registrations have also been a strong demand indicator. Shorts have been predicting a demand cliff for awhile now, but I don’t see any in sight.

Or Elon/Tesla have come to the realization they aren’t producing any $35k Model 3’s anytime soon/ever, and are quietly trying to make those promises of the $35k Model 3 Elon made almost 3 years ago fade away and hope no one notices.

Yes, yes, Tesla is so collectively dumb or nefarious they think they can just remove some text from their website, never produce the 35k version they’ve touted for years, and get away with it. That’s quite a crackpot conspiracy theory you have there.

Not necessarily a crackpot conspiracy… after all they did exactly that a few years ago with Model S 40kwh which they were to sell for $50K. How many model S 40’s do you see on the road today? None because they “discontinued” it very soon after it was announced.

How many times is this false comparison going to be repeated?

Tesla cancelled the Model S40 because only about 2% of the preorders were for that trim level. It made no financial sense to put that into production.

Do you honestly think that there isn’t enough demand for the Standard Range Model 3 for Tesla to ever produce it? Unless the answer is “yes”, then you need to stop repeating this false comparison.

So far zero percent of orders have been for the $35k Model Godot.

And… there’s still a Bolt on your driveway..

Yup. Too bad that MadBro can’t get over being upset that he had to settle for a Bolt EV rather than a Tesla Model 3. Heck, he’s obsessed by it, as he continually demonstrates with all his sour grapes posts about the Model 3.

Hey MadBro, where is GM’s promised 25 new EVs???

With GM Baltimore shutting down where will you go ?

And serial Tesla bashers like you will continue to whine that fake prediction until the day that Tesla delivers the first Standard Range Model 3… at which time you’ll move the goal posts again, and claim that Tesla will deliver only a token number.

They usually enter a new quarter with ~6 weeks of VINs available. They entered this quarter with almost no VINs available because the ones they didn’t use last year were for 2018, not 2019. They registered more VINs than normal to rebuild the buffer, it doesn’t necessarily say anything about production.

Why would they need to rebuild the buffer if they aren’t going to produce these cars and if they didn’t have orders coming in? It’s not just for show, you know.

I’m sure the serial Tesla bashers can invent a new conspiracy theory to “explain” that away. Give the Devil his due, they certainly are endlessly inventive at creating Tesla bashing conspiracy theories!

Why did they end up with so many unused 2018 VINs? Does it even matter? Do “wasted” VINs threaten the environment?

A buffer gives them flexibility to change production quickly without fear of running out of VINs for a certain configuration. They register blocks based on expectations, which later change and leave “holes” in the VIN map.

Sure, they could develop a “just in time” VIN registration scheme, but why? It’s not like they have to pay for each one they register.

Wrong, just wrong

Tesla detrators and bashers have been predicting a demand cliff literally since the day Tesla started selling the original Roadster, in 2008. Of course nobody was shorting Tesla stock back then, before the IPO. But when the shorters did appear, they just picked up and repeated the same Big Lies that already existed about Tesla.

There comes a point at which everyone should stop paying any attention to compulsive liars. Short-selling serial Tesla bashers passed that point several years ago.

Answer: more than 2018
Bonus question: How many base $35k Model 3’s will Tesla sell in 2019? My prediction: zero
Especially since Tesla has now deleted any mention of the base model 3 from their website.

@bro1999 said:”Answer: more than 2018…”

Good to see @bro1999 get one right!

For North America and Western Europe in 2019 Tesla will likely sell more EVs than all the other car makers *combined*.

Interesting how often serial Tesla bashers (like @bro1999 that says he uses Tesla Destination Chargers for his Chevy Bolt on long distance trips) collaterally benefit from Tesla’s success. Sort of like a kid getting a piece of candy free and rather that being grateful is annoyed it was not two pieces of candy.

Blessed are the serial Tesla bashers, for they incur the wrath of the rabid Tesla fanboys.

And that is nothing compared to the shellacking you are taking in the shorting department!

You seem confused about which group is rabid. Try looking in a mirror; you’ll see it’s you who is so frequently foaming at the mouth. Oh, nice irony in your screen name, dude.

It’s not us Tesla fanboys who keep repeating Big Lies, pravduh, and FÜD, nor engage in endless comments about Tesla even in discussions about articles entirely unrelated to Tesla.

Blessed are the serial Tesla BUYERS, for they incur the benefit of EV ownership.

Meanwhile you fuel cell fanboiz continue to be rabidly jealous over Tesla cementing the EV as the clearly head-and-shoulders winning technology. Your whining about Tesla heading the winning EV technology over fuel cells is boring.

That would be my prediction too. Not a big loss, 220 miles is quickly becoming substandard now that your average Korean non premium ICE conversion will do better than that and start ticking a few boxes and one wouldn’t have gotten much change from an MR anyway. I expect a further discounted MR (to compensate for the phasing out of the tax credit) to stay the entry level Model 3.

Too bad for people who would have opted for an absolutely bare bone SR, those will end up having to spend more. Doubt there is many of those though.

I’m guessing that Tesla removed any mention because they have more than enough orders. They don’t want to take more orders until they start producing and wine down existing orders of the $35 version.

Tesla already told us. 360-400k total with fewer S/X. So call it 80k S/X and 300k Model 3s. They have infinitely better data on demand at the price points they can deliver than any of these outsiders who just make numbers up.

“their promised $35,000 Model 3, which Tesla hopes to deliver in four to six months.”

They NEVER said 35k in 4-6 months. Until yesterday their web site said SR in 4-6 months. That was almost certainly SR+PUP.

“Reaching the midpoint of the forecast range wouldn’t require a significant increase in the rate of production”

They have to produce 310k Model 3s to deliver 300k in 2019, based on their guidance that overseas deliveries will grow inventory by 10k cars. They also guided to a gradual ramp to 7k/week, so figure quarterly production of 70/75/80/85k. Evannex may not consider 40% growth from Q4 2018 to Q4 2019 to be “significant’, but I certainly do.

Actually, Tesla has repeatedly UNDER-estimated demand for their products. Their problem has been ramping up production to meet demand.

We saw this when Tesla was shocked to get over 100K pre-orders for the Model 3 (they had predicted less internally) and had to completely revise their plans.

We saw this when Tesla predicted Model S/X sales would drop with the introduction of the Model 3, but they were wrong again and actually had to put workers BACK on the S/X line that they had moved off the line 1 year ago because demand went up instead of down.

It even goes down the line to novelty items, like the “not a flamethrower” that sold out instantly.

Etc, etc

Your ever-present drumming of this bogus demand meme is plain dumb and boring.

75% of Model 3 sold in the U.S. last quarter were new orders and not from reservation holders. From what I have read the factory is producing the highest units per week then ever just to fill the higher end Model 3 orders that are currently the only offerings in Europe/China. It looks like it will still take a few more months before those numbers for the most expensive version will start to slow down. The 75% of M3 orders in Q4 not from reservation holders should also occur in Europe once people start to show off their cars to friends and neighbors or maybe even higher since the price of petrol around 2X higher then in the U.S. If Tesla released the SR version now there would be a huge backlog of orders at their current rate of production. In July the Fed tax incentive drops by half again and would be a good time to release the SR version but with the Premium upgrade package for 40K so the change would be easy to implement since its just the pack size, but only if demand slows down to keep the factory humming at full speed. So if you… Read more »

“So if you want to see the SR released soon just stop buying the expensive versions, simple!!”

That’s hard, because It’s a very good car with little downside. The price is a little high, but in the same ball park as the BWMs and Audis of the same category.

I know, I am enjoying mine since December 2018..

“75% of Model 3 sold in the U.S. last quarter were new orders and not from reservation holders.”

That’s not what they said. 75% of Q4 orders were not from the reservation list. A lot of Q4 sales came from Q3 orders. They never told us how many of those were from the reservation list.

Customer deposits fell 115m in Q4. Some of that was probably Roadster and Semi cancellations, but a big chunk was Model 3. Much more than $16m worth (25% of 63k+ unit sales).

Tesla is no longer taking domestic reservations for the Model 3; only reservations for overseas markets. So it’s hardly a surprise that customer deposits fell; that was according to Tesla’s plan.

So let us please not try to suggest or insinuate that this indicates falling demand.

I’m not “surprised” deposits fell. I’m using the amount they fell as a measure of how many Q4 sales came from the reservation list. It indicates a lot more than 16k. Simple math.

Yup. It’s just facepalm-stupid for serial Tesla bashers to keep claiming that Model 3 demand has fallen off a cliff, or is just about to, while simultaneously whining that Tesla isn’t putting the $35k Model 3 into production, as they promised.

Well, duh… it’s the very high demand for higher trim levels of the Model 3 which has caused Tesla to delay putting the base Model 3 into production for so long!

And what kind of idiots would top Tesla execs be, to start making and selling the $35k Model 3 when they can’t even satisfy all the demand for significantly higher trim levels? The financial duty of a corporate officer of a publicly owned company would seem to demand that they oppose any such plan.

I understand the frustration of many would-be Standard Range Model 3 owners at the ongoing delay in putting the SR TM3 into production, but at present it makes no sense for Tesla to do so.

My low estimate is that in the first three quarters they average on 5K/week and in the final quarter they average on 7K/week, for 286K total.

My high estimate is that in the first three quarters they average on 6500/week and in the final quarter they average on 10K/week, for 383K total.

Both estimates are that Gigafactory 3 has a meaningful contribution only in Q4.

The only concern I have about how many they can sell is congestion at super chargers. Yesterday I was driving back from Mammoth (not in my Tesla model S). At the Mojave supercharger all six stalls were full and there was a line 3-4 deep of Teslas waiting to charge. Granted this was the end of the holiday weekend but could put a damper on sales if this becomes a widespread problem. About half of the cars were model 3.

I used 6000 a week as the middle number between the approximately 5000 a week they can do now and the 7000 a week they said they wanted to get to by the end of the year. That works out to 312,000 total worldwide. Using my guess that between 30-40% of them are sold in the US, that probably puts US deliveries about the same as last year.

It all depends on the administration if tariff war continues and spreads to Europe then sales of TM3 will slow overseas considerably.
Right now the 15% tariff in China sales will be strong but if after March 1st it goes up to 40% then sales will be a trickle.
Right now Tesla is producing as many Tesla’s as they can. Evidence of this is that there are still long wait times for the Powerwall.

Doesn’t the Powerwall use cells with a different battery chemistry than the one used in vehicles, which are made on different dedicated manufacturing line?

I’m not sure if the cells are different.
I don’t know of any company that has such a huge demand. They literally can sell everything they can produce.
The wildcard are the tariffs. The good news for Tesla is even if sales slow for EV’s because of tariffs. They still have huge demand for Powerwalls and Powerpacks. With spring starting I expect a lot more solar roofs being installed.

“I’m not sure if the cells are different.”

I can’t state with absolute certainty that they are, but it would certainly make sense if they were. Stationary storage cells need to be optimized for maximum cycle life; power output isn’t a challenge. Contrariwise, cells for Tesla’s high-performance BEVs have a need for strong power output in addition to long cycle life.

Certainly others have stated as fact that Tesla is using a different chemistry in the PowerWall and PowerPack cells. I won’t suggest they are wrong. We do know that Tesla has filled some larger PowerPack orders by using non-Panasonic cells, so we can be fairly certain those are using different chemistry than found in Panasonic’s 2170 cells made for the Model 3.

Different chemistry, yes. It’s not clear to me if they are made on a different production line. I know that Tesla has used some non-Panasonic cells in its PowerPacks, but I don’t know that none of the PowerWalls and PowerPacks use 2170 cells.

2170 is just a form factor. Panasonic could use different chemistry in different cells with the same form factor.

But I agree with Ron M on this: The long wait times for PowerWalls indicates that Panasonic doesn’t have a lot of excess production capacity at Gigafactory 1, above what is needed for the Model 3.

In fact, some think that the reason (or at least one of the main reasons) Tesla put the Mid Range Model 3 into production was that there weren’t enough cells to make as many Long Range Model 3’s as Tesla had the assembly line capacity to make. That’s just speculation, of course, but there might be some truth to it.

140k (US) + 160k (International) = 300k total

As a few others have said they have a lot of options that can keep sales high. The new China factory could add some in late 2019. The logistics of shipping and the possible shortage of any parts could make it hard to keep those production numbers up along with the model Y and Semi starting up.

130k (US) + 155k (International) = 285 k total That is a lot of shipping time and costs
now 2020 could be more amazing numbers.

It will be hard to beat BYD in China . QUOTE= BYD is ambitious to sell 650,000 vehicles in 2019 and plans to roll out nine or ten new models,

The question is not how many model 3s will Tesla make, it is how many will they make-for/sell-in the USA… World wide; With US production still ramping, China GF2 coming online later in the year, and the focus on model 3 production [model Y into next year], I believe that Tesla could well produce 500k vehicles this year. Constant battery and manufacturing improvements at volume could also enable the $35k version later this year… in the 2nd or 3rd quarter [?]…. which would enlarge demand ahead of production increases. US Sales: I would guess maybe a 50+% increase [+/- depending on the timing of the introduction of the $35k version]. Musk can set the US/export numbers any way he pleases. Tesla has the run of the table this year and next, where viable competition won’t yet exist in western countries. But, he has to prepare for real competition starting in 2021-22 and reaching full bloom in 2024-25. That means more volume [at quality], lower costs, more models, and more markets. Not surprisingly, that seems to be his plan. And somehow, Tesla has to enlarge the supercharger network to match, and re-accelerate Energy storage production. And, oh yeah, there’s Space-X, etc….… Read more »

I don’t expect the Gigafactory in China produce any EV’s this year, but if the tariffs stay at 15% instead of going up to 40% sales will still be great in China. Not only for the TM3 but the S and X
The 15% tariff is a 10% sale on S and X from pre May 2018.

I see no evidence of significant ramping in Model 3 production. Last year, 3rd Quarter and 4th Quarter deliveries were almost identical. Tesla might be able to tweak things here and there, but the Fremont assembly plant is more or less maxed out.

And despite some very overoptimistic claims, there is no way that Tesla is going to be producing cars in quantity at the Shanghai Gigafactory this year. It takes about two years to get a new assembly plant up and running at significant output, and I don’t think Tesla has any magic to cut that time in half. The Chinese can erect buildings in record time, but that doesn’t cut down the time it takes to install production lines and do all the work necessary to get them running smoothly.

I will be very, very surprised if Tesla delivers more than 400,000 Model 3’s this year, worldwide. My prediction is between 300k and 400k, most likely being closer to 300k. Now, that’s not to say I can’t be wrong; my record for predictions regarding Tesla is far from 100%. But my record is certainly better than any of the self-appointed financial “analysts” whose predictions have been reported on InsideEVs!

China production faces 3 major variables:

1) When did Tesla Automation start building the assembly line robots for GF3? For years before Tesla acquired them, their business model was to build out assembly lines in completely separate locations from the factories where they were going to be installed, and then install them in weeks at the factory. They could have started this at any time after delivering the revised GF1 Model 3 battery pack robotics. There are no other known projects other than GF3 since they completed the battery pack project.

2) How many changes will they make between the fully functional 5K/units per week Fremont factory and GF3? Making an exact clone would involve zero development time, it would be just making a clone of a fully functioning assembly line. That is very easy vs. developing new robots and new code.

3) Will the GF3 be capable of Model Y assembly right from the start, possibly on the same line as the TM3? That would be the other end of the spectrum from cloning Fremont, and would require the most new dev and new coding.

if the 360k+ number assumes any production outside of CA, I’d say they’ll miss that number due to production delays. That said, a 33% increase over last year is a no-brainer, as Tesla was ramping up the model 3 for the first half of last year, which puts the likely total over 300k

I have issue with the statement “if they can maintain Q4 prodcution and delivery”. The car sales calendar is not a simple “divide by 4” proposal. Q1 is historically only 15% of the years total sales while Q4 is 35%. Christmas hangover, Northern Hemisphere winter, tax season. I don’t know all the factors yet historically this is how humans buy vehicles. Inside EV’s bar graph of historic EV sales per month confirms this and it’s no different in the ICE world.

-15% of 380,000 is 57,000 total sales for Q1. This what people should expect (again 3 + S + X) and anything over a huge win. (also there is a one time hit of ships in transit. Possibly 15,000 “on route” which is MUCH higher then any previous qtr.

Model 3 should be in the 140,000 range for domestic with 120,000 to Europe and some number to China. S and X sales in the 75,000 range. Don’t be fooled by some short thesis stating “missing 90,000 in Q1 is a major fail by Tesla”. It’s some moron trying to play on the general ignorance of seasonal auto sales.

Actually I expect more than a 15% “hit” to Q1 sales, since many Model 3’s will be caught in long transit times to overseas destinations, which they were not in 2018.

But I also expect the “hit” to Q1 deliveries to be balanced by a pull-out-the-stops attempt to maximize deliveries in Q4. That’s what Tesla does every year, and I expect them to do the same this year.

I also expect Tesla to keep tweaking production at Fremont, adding in more automation and speeding up the lines slightly. I don’t know how much difference that will make, but surely it will increase throughput at least slightly by the end of the year.

I agree with your post, but have one fine point to add. Based on your numbers, the -15% seasonal sales hit, and the possible 15,000 “on route” numbers would have to be added together. They would be accumulative effects.

Total annual global Tesla deliveries in 2019:

Tesla Model 3:
280,000 – 320,000

Tesla Model S and Tesla Model X:
60,000 – 100,000

“And there are plenty of US reservation holders still waiting for their promised $35,000 Model 3, which Tesla hopes to deliver in four to six months.”

That hope has been dashed ….

“Tesla has more work to do on the car to lower the cost to US$35,000 and it said on its website that this would take “4 to 6 months.” Now, this information has been removed from the website, causing some fans of the brand who had pre-ordered a Model 3 to worry.”


Or based on what Tesla has done in the past, it could also just mean that they are about to start sales of the SR.

Remember that the MR came out of nowhere, right after they had revised their website.

Right now, the biggest thing holding back sales, is the American EV subsidy. Tesla is being punished for being EV based. Tesla really needs to do 1 of 2 things:
1) get CONgress to re-do the subsidies so that both GM and Tesla are included.
2) get CONgress to DROP all subsidy.

Thankfully, Brazzo (wy-R) is pushing the later. So, I am working with a couple of dems to get them to cut a deal with Brazzo; kill the EV subsidy and at same time, put a tax on Gas/diesel of .01/gal/month increase. The trick is for how many months to increase it. Ideally, it would be 50 or 100 months.

Yeah, good luck with that. Any American politician advocating an increase to the Federal gas tax would be committing political suicide.

Foreigners are often surprised to learn that in America, even most of the poor own automobiles. What they fail to understand is that in most parts of America, owning a car is a necessity, whereas in most places in other countries it’s not.

There is no “Brazzo” from Wyoming in the US Congress, so I can only presume you are talking about John Barrasso, one of Wyoming’s 2 Senators in the US Congress.

That Barrasso is the 3rd largest recipient of Oil and Gas industry lobbying dollars.

3 Barrasso, John A (R-WY) Senate $423,650


He is not going to put a tax on any fossil fuels, because he has been outspoken pro-coal and pro-oil. He’s voted FOR a bill gutting the clean air act that would effectively kill the California CARB ZEV program instantly, and voted to not allow any bill to even be debated that would actually increase energy costs, which would include a tax like you suggested:


I’m sorry, but you clearly don’t know what you are talking about, and Barrasso must have suckered you with his lip-service he gives to alternative energy, while humping oil and coal industries.

“In Tesla’s fourth-quarter shareholder letter, the company said it expects to deliver between 360,000 and 400,000 vehicles in 2019”

That’s interesting. My own guesstimate, at or near the beginning of this year, was between 300,000 and 400,000, and likely nearer 300,000. Looks like for once, my own guesstimate is close to Tesla’s official start-of-year estimate.

If Tesla’s estimate is slightly higher than my own, well that’s no surprise. Tesla often overestimates their future production. We’ll certainly hope that this time they are on target!


35k three years ago equals about 4% more today, so make it at approx. $36400 today.

NOT a good article,…it mixes world wide n USA model 3 production numbers and does not give us this estimate most of us in the states really want….2019 model 3 production/deliveries for USA ONLY.
My guess is over 200k model 3s will be built n delivered to drivers in the USA for 2019.
Maybe 100k m3s each for Europe n China this year…of course China will more than double their m3 drivers in 2020 when that new gigafactory comes online in China.