Tesla Is Not On Track For 50,000-52,000 Projected Annual Sales This Year

If Tesla wants to sell 52,000, or even just 50,000 cars this year, it has its work cut out for it for November and December.

In order to reach 50,000-52,000 sales as projected in its third-quarter shareholders’ letter, the automaker must sell more-than double the units during November and December that it has averaged per month all this year.

Through the third quarter Tesla reported 33,174 sales, or on average close to 3,700 units per month worldwide.

All tallied global sales to date are almost exclusively Model S, though Tesla’s year-end goal does account for Model X coming online in greater numbers to increase the volume, and this it may need to do.

In October Tesla sold an estimated 3,500 worldwide, not close to one-third the remaining balance needed for 52,000 or even 50,000.

More specifically, October’s sales brought Tesla’s tally to an estimated 36,674 and it has two months to go to sell approximately 15,326 more cars if it is to hit 52,000.

To meet even a 50,000 low goal, Tesla needs approximately 13,326 sales or about 6,650 sales average per month for the next two months. The make the 52,000 goal, Tesla must sell an average 7,750 per month this month and next.

Put another way,this means to hit the 52,000 goal, Tesla must sell in the next two months 40 percent of all it has sold in the 10 months of this year, its best year in its history.

Whether it can do this is anyone’s guess, but the odds are long. In question is whether a floodgate of Model X production could be opened, or many more Model S units might be delivered.

Michigan-based analyst Alan Baum is not projecting high Model X sales this year.

Baum said also October’s 3,500 sales is not unprecedented, and his feeling is despite how things may look, Tesla does have a shot at making the 50,000-52,000 number.

This he bases on the very definitive way in which Tesla projected 50,000-52,000 sales for the year.

“That sounds to me like they have a method to get there because they were so specific,” Baum said.

They may get there by the skin of their teeth, he said, but Tesla has historically worked toward 11th-hour deadlines, and has pulled off heavier sales at the end of many quarters.

As for why Tesla sold only 3,500 units in October, Baum does not suspect the Consumer Reports downgrade news which did adversely affect Tesla’s stock price for a spell had much to do with it.

The consumer publication’s account of 1,400 owners reporting issues came with asterisk attached that Tesla was extremely proactive in service, fixing things as needed, and buyers still overwhelmingly recommend Tesla.

This said, and any further qualifiers aside, with roughly 37,000 sold through October, Tesla has 15,000 to go this month and next, or at the very least 13,000 to meet 50,000 for the year.

Hat tip to Mario R. Duran.