Tesla Production And Deliveries Graphed Through Q4 2018

JAN 2 2019 BY MARK KANE 34

More than 530,000 electric cars delivered so far.

The forecast about 100,000 deliveries in Q4 turned out to be too optimistic as Tesla closed the quarter with around 90,700.

Bloomberg’s Tesla Model 3 Tracker in its latest update was quite close with an estimation of 154,791 Model 3 produced by the end of the year, as Tesla announced 155,662.

Let’s check out the all-time record fourth-quarter results (final numbers could vary by up to 0.5%).

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

As you can see, Tesla’s deliveries (around 90,700) were at an all-time high, about 203% above the same period of 2017 and 8% up compared to Q2 2018. On average, 986 cars were delivered per day.

  • Model 3: 63,150
  • Model X: 14,050
  • Model S: 13,500

During 2018, Tesla delivered roughly 245,240 electric cars (up almost 138% year-over-year):

  • Model 3: 145,846 YTD
  • Model S: 50,676 YTD
  • Model X: 48,718 YTD

The cumulative number of S/X/3 delivered since 2012 increased to over 532,000.

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

Production also hit an all-time high of 86,555 (up 252% year-over-year) for the quarter and 254,530 YTD (up 152%). During Q4, on average, 941 cars were produced per day.

  • Model 3: 61,394 (152,977 YTD)
  • Model S + Model X: 25,161 (101,553 YTD)

Tesla Model S and X sales amounted to around 99,394, which is 2% less than a year ago, but in general in line with the forecast of around 100,000 for the year.

During the year, Tesla was mostly focused on the Model 3. According to the company there is potential for further growth because:

  • entering Europe and China in February 2019
  • introduction of lower-priced variants
  • offering leasing

We can only guess that in 2019 sales of Model 3 alone will exceed 300,000.

“There remain significant opportunities to continue to grow Model 3 sales by expanding to international markets, introducing lower-priced variants and offering leasing. International deliveries in Europe and China will start in February 2019. Expansion of Model 3 sales to other markets, including with a right-hand drive variant, will occur later in 2019.”

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34 Comments on "Tesla Production And Deliveries Graphed Through Q4 2018"

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And 2019 will be another year with limited competition, so they should be able to sell lots of high margin variants with little to no sales / advertising effort.
I’ll reiterate my last year’s hope that in 2019, Tesla decides to spin off their charging network into a separate entity that provides service to all EVs. That would provide another source of revenue and help push the movement forward faster.

Tesla sold about the same number as Porsche in 2018 (+/-250k) and will likely get to 350k-400k this year. It’s a real car company and has a technological moat around it (nobody matches their powertrain efficiency or battery cost yet).

Great work Tesla.
Why spinn off charging network? Why not allow non Tesla owners with a Tesla reservation (and down payment) to use the superchargers? This would be especially interesting in Europe due to CCS and could generate some future Tesla customers.



We have to conclude that the global demand for the Tesla Model S and the Tesla Model X has plateaued.

The introduction of the next generation of the Tesla Model S and the Tesla Model X will probably take the global demand for these two EV models to a next (higher) level.

I think the Model 3 eats into S demand a bit, because people who would otherwise get a base Model S can get a pimped-out 3. I think there’s still a little bit of room for Model X growth, but that will likely suffer a Model Y effect at some point.

@KumarPlocher said: “…I think there’s still a little bit of room for Model X…”

A Tesla Model XL (extended length version of Model X) would be a huge hit in North America… may double Tesla SUV sales.

Extend cargo area by ~20 inches (~508mm) and extend wheelbase by ~10 inches (~254mm) and keep everything else identical to Model X including battery pack.

Yes the added length will result in ~5% range loss but a Tesla 100D XL with 280 miles rage may be the sweet spot for many.

Sure, but the name is vegetable soup.

Is such a thing (a Model X extended length version) in the works? I really like the MX but have heard the third row is pretty cramped if you really want to fit the whole family in. An extra couple feet would really alleviate that, as well as add extra cargo space when hauling cargo and you have the seats folded down.

Boast a towing + off-road performance on par with e.g. a Jeep Grand Cherokee with the next gen MX and then we’re talkin’!!!

Riviqn will apparently have that bev suv u describe available in a couple years

@Mike McD said: “Is such a thing (a Model X extended length version) in the works?…”

Don’t know but hopefully yes.

I’d think extending length (and keeping everything else identical) to an existing production model would be an easy production add.

XL? Pipe Dream. No point when they have yet to release Model Y.

Only 2.5% of US households have 6 or more people.
I just don’t see the great demand for more room for seven people.
Not to mention that the vast majority of households with 6 or more people wouldn’t be able to afford a $100,000 car anyway.

List of 7 passenger SUVs off the top of my head (most of which have better third row room than Model X):
Chevy Traverse
Buick Enclave
Ford Explorer
Dodge Durango
Mazda CX-9
Honda Pilot
Toyota Highlander
Nissan Pathfinder
Lexus RX 350L
Volvo XC-90
Audi Q7
Nissan Armada
Ford Expedition
Chevy Tahoe
Chevy Suburban

I’m sure I have missed several but you get the point. There absolutely is demand (in the USA) for large SUVs with more room. I believe an extended version of the Model X would sell quite well. However, I don’t see Tesla doing that anytime soon. They have too many projects as it is.

I think Tesla has done well to maintain ~100,000 units of S/X. These are expensive vehicles and the addressable market isn’t huge.
The only real growth story is the Model 3. Model X and Prius Prime are up about 25% which is good, but If you take their numbers out, there is quite modest EV growth in the US (around 10%).


When they offer leasing on the $35K model, there will be another boom. They haven’t even marketed any of these cars. I think a lot of us haven’t even really let that sink in. Big auto puts so much money into ads to persuade people.

Tesla markets their cars extensively (and very effectively). , They just don’t do paid media ads.

Great, but isn’t the difference between 2018 Q3 and Q4 a bit disappointing?

They need another production line. Europe and China will gobble up these cars as fast or faster than the US. So those two markets alone could triple the appetite for Tesla cars.

Well you can look at it another way. The third quarter was so strong especially due to September, that it was hard to push numbers much higher. We knew there would definitely come a point during which sales hit a celing and don’t continue to ramp up significantly after that. The third quarter was pretty spectacular, and Q4 was even better. It will be interesting to see how things look in terms of profit.

What I was trying to say, I expected more Model 3 deliveries in Q4. The production goal was 7000 models 3 by the end of the quarter. But in the end they had an average of “only” 4858 deliveries a week. OK, it is more than the average of 4313 in Q3, but it isn’t a mind blowing difference.

After all Bloomberg was quite quite right with the estimations in their Model 3 tracker. I guess the people calling Bloomberg “fake news” or “shorters” here all the time should be disappointed at least.

Of course what Tesla does is still very impressive. I am very curious what happens when the Model 3 finally becomes available here in Europe. But I just hope they’ll be able to ramp up production soon.

Bloomberg was low by 7000 cars until the last day of the quarter when a magical adjustment fixed their number. Don’t rely on their numbers.

As for growth, Tesla always said they would pause at 5000/week and work on efficiency for six months or so. It’s more important right now to reduce costs than to add production capacity. They already have excess long term capacity at the current price point.

I admit I was a bit disappointed, yet it wasn’t really unexpected. As Steven said, Tesla made such an enormous push during the 3rd quarter that it wasn’t really a surprise that they didn’t sell/ deliver more during 4th quarter.

I think Tesla took a “pause” this last quarter, a pause to eliminate inefficiencies and improve profit margins, not to mention streamlining and improving the efficiency of their delivery process, and working on improving the Tesla service network.

So I don’t think Tesla was just sitting on its hands, even though sales/ deliveries were almost exactly what they were the previous quarter. Not all progress is measured by production levels.

Q3 was helped by Tesla holding back around 10k cars in order to not trigger the US rebate phaseout.

That’s a valid explanation Brian, thanks!

They only held back a few thousand in Q2. 8000+ Model 3s spill over from one quarter to the next no matter what they do. And those Q2 spill overs had near zero gross margin, so they didn’t affect Q3 profits.

Tesla sales are now no longer production limited. Now, US sales will reflect US demand, not Tesla’s production limit. Now Model 3 and X have saturated US sales and Model S is on the decline. I wish it were not so.

Ross, I think Tesla is building every 3 they can and selling them as quickly as they can be shipped to the buyers. And we haven’t even seen Europe getting theirs yet. January is a slow month for car sales but there is still a lot of demand for the 3, even before the base model shows up later this year.

Ziv, they clearly outran US demand for current versions. Q4 is the highest demand quarter and this Q4 was boosted by tax credit stepdown. Even so, they started with 1-3 month wait times and ended with 7000 unsold Model 3s. You could walk into any store in late December and get a MR or even AWD on the spot or in few days.

That’s perfectly ok. They’ve still got overseas, which will buy them time to get costs down so they can tap in to demand for $35-45k versions.

@Ross – not really. S and X plateaued a long time ago. As others have noted above, a bunch of us assumed that the S would drop a little since the Model 3 is so good and costs so much less. Further, sedan sales have been declining nationally.

A modest 1 quarter drop in S sales, simultaneous with Model 3 availability beyond reservation holders, is nothing to be worried about. There are too many factors to consider for such a small drop in sales. We need a few more quarters of sales to see what the future of the S is.

“Tesla sales are now no longer production limited.”

Tesla sales in 2019 will be very much production limited, because they have about maxed out production at the one and only assembly plant they have, in Fremont. The Shanghai Gigafactory won’t be producing in volume until 2020 or 2021, according to Tesla’s plans.

“Now, US sales will reflect US demand, not Tesla’s production limit.”

Yes, but overseas sales are just now starting for the Model 3. There is no way that Tesla can possibly supply the global demand for TM3 in 2019. Model 3 sales will most definitely be limited by production, not demand.

So, this year we can’t expect much more in global sales, unless — this is a long shot IMHO — unless Tesla starts Model 3 assembly at Gigafactory 1, at Reno. I think Tesla has at least mentioned the possibility of doing that, altho they have not announced any actual plans to do so.


There were about 145,846 Tesla Model 3 deliveries in the US in 2018.

How many deliveries were there in the US in 2018 of the Toyota Corolla, the Toyota Camry, The Honda Civic, and the Honda Accord?

146k is US plus Canada.

I’d think that with expansion into markets outside the US for the Model 3 just beginning that we’re only seeing the tip of the iceberg for Tesla. While other manufacturers will have other vehicles, Tesla will have the charging network that others don’t have for quite some time. My only hopes are that the interior comfort of the S/X increases greatly… I’d like everything from much more comfortable seats to seats that massage… and there’s just got to be a new body style soon…. and I think that the price can drop quite a bit since the cost to produce batteries per kwh continues to drop and if Tesla doesn’t provide free supercharging for newer vehicles then they don’t have to wrap that into the cost of the vehicle. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised to see quarterly price drops of $2,500 or so on the Model S until they’re about $25K less expensive than they are today. My 2016 Model S P90D with Ludicrous and every option priced out at around $152K, but my lease is $665/mo ($707/mo including taxes, $8K down), and they keep giving me 6 month lease extensions which I gladly take advantage of, as I think… Read more »