Nearly every automaker sends out monthly sales updates. But not Tesla -- Elon Musk's EV venture only delivers sales figures on a quarterly basis, and today's the day to report on Q4 2017.
Tesla delivered 29,870 vehicles in the fourth quarter of 2017. That's 27 percent higher than the same quarter last year, and 9 percent higher than Q3 2017, which stood as the company's best quarter yet. Of those deliveries, 15,200 were Model S, 13,120 were Model X and 1,550 were Model 3. Thus, Model 3 comprised about 5 percent of those deliveries.
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Tesla separates deliveries from actual manufacturing numbers. While it delivered 1,550 Model 3s, it built 2,520 of them. While Tesla might still be working through the "production hell" that CEO Elon Musk described last year, its production has ramped up in a big way -- the California automaker built as many Model 3s in the last month as it did in the first four months of production.
Originally, Tesla had planned to be building 5,000 Model 3s per week by the end of 2017, but Musk pushed that goal back to the first quarter of 2018 on the latest earnings call. Tesla claims in its sales press release that production currently "extrapolates to" more than 1,000 Model 3s per week. This press release again delayed that goal, saying it will be at the 5,000-vehicle-per-week mark by the end of Q2 2018, as opposed to Q1.
In Q3, Tesla delivered 25,915 Model S and X vehicles, so deliveries are up for Tesla's two older models, as well. For the year, Tesla delivered 101,312 examples of its high-end electric twins, or 33 percent more than in 2016.
Vehicle deliveries are only one part of a company's overall progress. The last we checked in on its financials, ZEV credit sales were down, margins were down and the company was still burning cash at a rate of about $1.4 billion per quarter. Much of that can be attributed to building up the company for Model 3 production, so once that process slowly begins to smooth out, it will be interesting to see how the company's numbers fare.
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