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Tesla is on track for a production record this quarter but slightly behind ambitious Model 3 goal

Virtually every new quarter for Tesla comes with new records and critical financial milestones. This quarter is no exception as Tesla attempts to become profitable and increase Model 3 production in a big way.

Electrek has learned that Tesla is on track for an incredible production record this quarter, but at the same time, the company is behind on its Model 3 production goal. It is also a different tally than other “guesstimations” out there.

A reliable source told Electrek that Tesla produced just over 47,000 vehicles throughout the third quarter as of last week.

That’s a new production record for the company and it put them on pace for an incredible record for the quarter.

At the current rate, Tesla will end the quarter with over 70,000 vehicles produced, by far the largest EV fleet ever produced by a single manufacturer in a quarter.

In comparison, Tesla produced 53,339 vehicles during the last quarter, which was also a new record for the company. The automaker is on track to achieve the same level this week with still a whole month left in the quarter.

While Model 3 production is responsible for the impressive increase and the automaker has already produced more Model 3’s in the last two months than during the entire previous quarter, it is still behind its goal.

According to the same source, Tesla produced just under 30,000 Model 3 vehicles so far during the quarter.

That means that Tesla is on pace to end up just below the lower end of its goal to produce between 50,000 to 55,000 Model 3 vehicles in the third quarter – though they could easily hit it by trending just a bit up over the next month, which is highly likely.

The company hasn’t been able to go back to a production of 5,000 units in a single week.

During the current quarter, Model 3 production is still very volatile and it has been limited to about 3,500 to ~4,900 per week based on a 7 day moving total. It could still achieve its production goal if it starts trending higher next month.

As per Elon Musk’s comment, Tesla is attempting to be profitable during the quarter and that’s highly dependent on Model 3 production, which needs to increase in terms of quantity and achieve a higher gross margin.

Electrek’s Take

Some good and some bad in those numbers Electrek has obtained.

It confirms that Tesla will achieve another record quarter in terms of production, but it also shows that Tesla isn’t able to maintain the previously achieved rate of 5,000 Model 3 vehicles per week.

Musk has been aiming for 6,000 units per week by the end of August and that would mean a more than 30% jump in production week over week to be achieved by the end of this week.

I find it to be unlikely, but Tesla has achieved more difficult things in the past.

What I find most encouraging is that Tesla claims to have decrease labor hour for Model 3 production by 30% during the same period, which could mean that even though production has settled in the ~4,000 units per week range, the cost could have improved significantly on a consistent production at this level.

I think it bodes well for the quarter and we will keep track of the progress during the last month of the quarter. No matter what, I think we should always appreciate that Tesla is producing electric vehicles at an higher rate than anyone else right now.

As a side note, now that I have seen the weekly production over the past quarter, I can confirm that the Bloomberg ‘Model 3 tracker’ is completely off most of the time. I know a lot of Tesla fans and publications refer to it, but I can assure that it is not a good idea to base your expectations on it.

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Fred is the Editor in Chief and Main Writer at Electrek.

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