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Tesla 2020 Q3 & Q4 Automotive Unit Sales

Jul. 29, 2020 4:29 PM ETTesla, Inc. (TSLA)
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  • Tesla can produce nearly 500k cars in 2020.
  • Q3 Total Production 138,618 Units.
  • Q4 Total Production 151,728 Units.

Much of Tesla's $280B Market Cap has to do with the growth narrative. The $TESLAQ community I follow note how this quarter proves said narrative is broken. I disagree, Coronavirus caused shutdowns removes responsibility for the lack of growth.  

Several key assumptions to note:

  1. Demand is of no concern for Tesla, hence we do not care about deliveries. We'll look at demand later
  2. Tesla was able to ramp back to pre-COVID levels very soon after reopening

Key dates to remember.

  • January 29th, 2020 Shanghai factory closed for COVID
  • February 10th, 2020 Shanghai factory reopened
  • March 24th, 2020 Fremont factory closed for COVID
  • May 17th, 2020 Fremont factory reopened after Tesla sued Alameda County

Key Facts:

TESLA SALES 2019Q2 - 2020Q1

Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2
Models S/X
Production 14,150 14,517 16,318 17,933 15,390 6,326
Deliveries 12,100 17,722 17,483 19,475 12,230 10,614
Models 3/Y 
Production 62,950 72,531 79,837 86,958 87,282 75,946
Deliveries 50,900 77,634 79,703 92,620 76,266 80,277
Production in Shanghai (ESTIMATE) 6,714 32,467
Production in Fremont (ESTIMATE) 62,950 72,531 79,837 86,958 80,568 43,479
Produced 77,100 87,048 96,155 104,891 102,672 82,272
Delivered 63,000 95,356 97,186 112,095 88,496 90,891

Based on the reported production numbers and the number of days, I estimate Tesla produced 6,714 cars in China and 80,568 in Fremont in Q1. With the shutdown of the factory in Fremont for 7 of 13 weeks, I estimate, conservatively assuming Tesla required no ramp-up time in Fremont, 43,679 cars produced, with the remaining 32,467 produced in Shanghai. 


  • Models S/X production at Fremont remains flat as most increase goes to lower margin Models 3/Y
  • Shanghai and Fremont each grow production at 10.7%/quarter, amounting to a 50% annual growth rate
  • Fremont factory begins growing at 10.7% in Q4, Q3 production returns to pre-COVID numbers
2020Q1 2020Q2 2020Q3 2020Q4 Total
Models S/X
Production 15,390 6,326 15,730 15,730 53,175
Models 3/Y 
Production 87,282 75,946 122889 135999 422,115
Production in Shanghai (ESTIMATE) 6,714 32,467 35931 39764 114,875
Production in Fremont (ESTIMATE) 80,568 43,479 86958 96235 307,240
Produced 102,672 82,272 138,618 151,728 475,290

If there was a longer ramp-up period in Q2 for Fremont, Giga Shanghai would have a higher weekly production rate in Q2, and assuming the same growth rate of 50%/annum, Tesla would be even closer to 500k units sold for 2020.

If Tesla is capable of returning production immediately to pre-COVID levels and growing said production by 50%/annum, Tesla will reach nearly 500k units produced. Tesla reaching these levels provides evidence that they should be categorized as a growth company. However, its growth will not be linear. If they are capable of growing production in existing factories at 50%/annum or faster, Tesla's current infrastructure will cap out in early to mid-2020 and new investments in plants will need to be made.

What are your estimates? Where do you think I went wrong?

Analyst's Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

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