Tesla Deviates From Nonconformity To Announce 10,000 Global Deliveries In 2015

Tesla Motors set a new company record by delivering more 10,030 vehicles worldwide in the first quarter of 2015.

That is the most vehicles Tesla has ever delivered in a quarter, said the company, and marks a 55-percent increase over the same period last year.

Tesla doesn’t typically publicize these monthly figures, but this week’s statement marks a new trend for the carmaker.

“Going forward, Tesla will publish the number of new car deliveries within three days of quarter end,” the company said.

“We have decided to take this approach, because inaccurate sources of information are sometimes used by others to project the number of vehicle deliveries.”

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In the past, Tesla’s silence has been called into question. Major automakers typically opt for a more transparent approach by regularly posting vehicles deliveries.

But Tesla CEO Elon Musk worried that monthly updates would lead to erroneous assumptions. Last November, he told John Lovallo of Bank of America that he wouldn’t consider changing this policy.

“Part of the reason why we don’t release the monthly deliveries number is just because it varies quite a lot by region and the media tends to read all sorts of nonsense into the deliveries,” said Musk.

“So, we’ll have 1,000 cars reach a country one month and none the next month or 100 the next month trickle in because those are the numbers that were registered one month versus the next. People will say, ‘oh, wow, Tesla sales drop by a factor of 10′. Well, no, the boat arrived in January and not all the cars got registered in January and some got registered in February and in March it’s back up again.

“People assume deliveries are a proxy for demand, and that’s not the case. It is the case for other car companies but in our case, it really needs to be parsed into orders and deliveries.

“And bear in mind, there are a lot of things we could do to amplify orders. Orders is not a true measure of demand, it’s just a measure of what we need to do to meet our production and deliver number.”

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With these concerns in mind, Tesla added a couple of stipulations for the new monthly vehicles announcements.

“There may be small changes to this delivery count (usually well under 1-percent), as Tesla only counts a delivery if it is transferred to the end customer and all paperwork is correct,” said Tesla.

“Also, this is only one measure of our financial performance and should not be relied on as an indicator of our quarterly financial results, which depend on a variety of factors, including the cost of sales, foreign exchange movements and mix of directly leased vehicles.”

Currently, all figures total deliveries of the Model S, Tesla’s only electric vehicle on the market. The four-door is available as a base sedan with two battery choices, or as the high-performance P85D version, though Tesla didn’t break down sales totals between the different styles.

The company’s first SUV, the Model X, is scheduled to join the lineup later this fall. And by 2017, Tesla is planning to expand its fleet to include the Model 3 as the company’s economy option.

 

Photo credit: Photographer: Ron Antonelli/Bloomberg