Tesla Increased Model 3 Production by 15% in Fourth Quarter and Will Drop Prices By $2000

Tesla produced and delivered at electric cars at the rate of nearly 1,000 vehicles per day.

Production in Q4 grew to 86,555 vehicles, 8% more than their prior all-time high in Q3. This included:

61,394 Model 3 vehicles, in line with our guidance and 15% more than Q3.
25,161 Model S and X vehicles, consistent with our long-term run rate of approximately 100,000 per year.

Q4 deliveries grew to 90,700 vehicles, which was 8% more than their prior all time-high in Q3. This included 63,150 Model 3 (13% growth over Q3), 13,500 Model S, and 14,050 Model X vehicles.

In 2018, Tesla delivered a total of 245,240 vehicles: 145,846 Model 3 and 99,394 Model S and X. They delivered almost as many vehicles in 2018 as we did in all prior years combined.

Tesla is partially absorbing the reduction of the federal EV tax credit. The federal tax credit is dropping from $7,500 to $3,750. Tesla is reducing the price of Model S, Model X and Model 3 vehicles in the U.S. by $2,000. Customers can apply to receive the $3,750 federal tax credit for new deliveries starting on January 1, 2019, and may also be eligible for several state and local electric vehicle and utility incentives, which range up to $4,000.

They started the year making about 120,000 vehicles per year and ended it at more than 350,000 vehicles per year – an increase of almost 3X. 2018 was the first time in decades that an American car – the Model 3 – was the best-selling premium vehicle in the U.S. for the full year, with U.S. sales of Model 3 roughly double those of the runner-up.

27 thoughts on “Tesla Increased Model 3 Production by 15% in Fourth Quarter and Will Drop Prices By $2000”

  1. since we know for a fact that real virtue and altruism is IMPOSSIBLE.

    Tesla is a for-profit corporation. The Board of Directors and ALL of its corporate officers (that includes Musk as he is still CEO) are REQUIRED BY LAW to make Tesla profitable for its investors.

    This is in direct conflict with exhibiting truly real virtue and altruism as you are using the term. Whereas, that is not so with non-profit corporations — which Tesla is not.

    So yes, virtue signaling. As EVERY other corporate big wig engages in whenever fooling folks like you that they are ‘in it for altruism’…except for non-profit corps.

    Your EvoPsych books don’t cover corporate law, obviously.

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  2. Yes, it is all mere “virtue signalling”, since we know for a fact that real virtue and altruism is IMPOSSIBLE. My killer ape just-so EvoPsych books told me so.

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  3. Tesla should be treated as a startup. They have bet the farm on every vehicle release to date. Any single sustained failure would have buried the cimpany. Right out of the gate musk nearly lost his personal fortune on the roadster. The borrowing for the model 3 ramp was staggering. What is amazing is that the company is still around at all. That is why the stock is so volatile.
    I am still long on Tesla and it has served me well so far.

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  4. Either way, they got hammered for it.

    Not that the decision probably was the wrong move on Tesla’s part. I think it was a smart move…the ONLY move. But it means just as you say for investors.

    Tesla meets Planet Reality, where Musk Fluffers do not rule.

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  5. Anything potentially disruptive and innovative tends to be volatile as most of the valuation is speculative.

    More volatile when there was a question of failure by their hand. Most new car companies that are not spinoffs fail.

    Then they should not be publicly traded, in my view.

    But the question I asked was a rhetorical one just for Tommy. 🙂

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  6. Elon Musk started with the high margin/low volume, but only to prove out the technology and assembly and bring in some capital so he could build something to reach the masses. He wants electric cars (of all brands) to replace today’s gas guzzlers, for everybody, not just the elite. That might be more of a philosophy decision than a hard-nosed business decision, but it still can make business sense.

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  7. Not really. If it’s anything like the incentive I received for buying a Prius 13 years ago (wow, it’s been that long already), the tax credit is received when filing taxes next April. So you still have to have the money to pay full price up front, and then wait some number of months. And most likely most Tesla buyers are in a higher tax bracket and don’t qualify for the full credit anyway (which was my case for the Prius, I could only use 1/2 of the tax credit, which was already cut in half from the original $2500 I think it was because of sales volume).

    So an up-front price cut of $2K is much better than possibly getting part of $3750 back next year.

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  8. The dip is probably most likely because they announced they’re reducing the price. Keep the sales volume, but less of a margin, stockholders don’t like lower margins.

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  9. Price drop of $2000 does not offset the loss of $3750 tax credit that expired for Tesla at the end of 2018 so Tesla’s are actually going up in price.

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  10. Anything potentially disruptive and innovative tends to be volatile as most of the valuation is speculative.

    More volatile when there was a question of failure by their hand. Most new car companies that are not spinoffs fail.

    What was the previous start up car company to make 100,000 cars in a year in the US? Probably Chrysler 90+ years ago.

    Tesla could still fail by competition with other electrics, but Tesla got there first, so they should have a head start paying off equipment and such allowing more surviveability at lower price.

    They are slow to get new models rolling off the assembly line…and tend to show their hand early. But I don’t think that is enough to really threaten them.

    Neglecting pickups, motorhomes, motorcycles, and to an extent SUVs leaves an open door for other companies to take that market. Just about impossible to get half a dozen models rolling of assembly lines in just a few years.

    I also think that you need buttons and dials and such or you risk being unattractive to a lot of motorists.

    The battery is the greatest vulnerability. If a much cheaper battery/capacitor/other mechanical/electrical power storage was developed by a competitor, or a competitor could get exclusive rights, that could make it very difficult to compete.

    So far they have managed to get quite good batteries. I also think their electronics are very good. Their autopilot, I think, is actually behind in ability, but ahead in deployment. Not a positive.

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  11. Back-up generator does not really seem to me to be a major role for the car. If there is a blackout, someone still has to get to work and use the car. Another car that day?
    Maybe better than a $2,000 discount would be throwing in a “Power Wall”.

    On a comparison basis, Tesla cars have a ton going for them. They are nearly 100% American, have great safety ratings, low maintenance, stellar performance…and without burning massive amounts of fuel to have fun, no ugly attitude toward Tesla drivers like there is against BMW and Mercedes drivers, and to a lesser extent Audi. I don’t think there is much of a negative vibe regarding the Japanese or Korean luxury cars. Maybe a little with Lexus. Hummer is probably the only American luxury brand that really got that negative vibe going. Well, perhaps Harley Davidson, but that is not a car…and to many people, it has a strong positive vibe.

    They have not done much advertising. I think a modest advertising campaign could really help them. Emphasize that Tesla has really the only virtually 100% American factory produced cars. Or show how hot gasoline engines get shoved into the passenger compartment in higher speed frontal impact accidents.

    They are missing a lot of the market for more expensive vehicles though. They need to get that slightly more modest priced SUV out and they need a real pickup truck. The semi pickup thing was interesting, but the market for something like that would be small.

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  12. And Tesla will not be making Ferraris. Although they will be making cars that can beat some Ferraris.

    & if they are making 10mn of $2k profit cars, they are making $20bn, silly you.

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  13. ” Besides, Musk himself said that is important for his own personal Virtue Signaling Warm & Fuzzies that it does so. ”

    <– Translation from troll, Tesla has always said they want to grow to be very large car company.

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  14. silly you. Ferrari makes $630m NET profit on making 250k cars. Car biz is simple. You either build huge volume at low margin or low volume at huge margin. It’s called horns of diliemma. Everyone else is caught in the middle in Death Valley.

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  15. Should stick with customers who can afford the missing tax rebate.

    It’s a limited market. So limited Tesla would remain in the red so bad it will burn through all of its money. No, Tesla has to increase volume. Dramatically. Besides, Musk himself said that is important for his own personal Virtue Signaling Warm & Fuzzies that it does so.

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  16. …yet this article makes ZERO mention of the fact that Tesla’s stock price crashed ~9% right after they announced this.

    The Musk Fluffer Kool-Aid kung fu is strong on NBF.

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  17. The investors selling are people, people being dumb panicky animals.

    Tesla does not want to be a tiny boutique car manufacturer, they want to be a very large car manufacturer. They have always said this to all investors. Anyone getting out on the basis of your feelings never should have bought them in the first place.

    BTW, what has more profit to it? Selling 10million cars at $2k profit apiece? Or 1k cars at $20k profit apiece?

    ” Never really understood their business rationale for making inexpensive EVs. ”

    Roughly as soon as batteries became good enough to run model aircraft, they became good enough to power most individual ground transport. Their rational is to be making the greatest fraction globally they can of the battery EVs which will dominate the market for autos, light trucks, and SUVs.

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  18. Investors no like. Problem when you set expectations too high. Never really understood their business rationale for making inexpensive EVs. Should stick with customers who can afford the missing tax rebate.

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  19. With this production rate they are now needing to move beyond the lovers-of-the-new and it-must-be-zero-emissions crowd to a broad market that will compare these Teslas item-for-item to the many similarly priced performance lux brands out there. they just opened a bank of Tesla chargers at our one gas station here in town (Northern Va) and I saw 4 of 6 in use. Our next car might be a Tesla in a few years since it will be time to change out a car that is mainly a commuter car. But I am still hoping for a $40K version that will allow for some level of emergency power to flow back to the house during outages. This will be the app that will reach millions more that spend $1000 on backup generators.

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