Tesla (TSLA): Elon Musk says ‘record deliveries possible’ in leaked employee email

Tesla (TSLA) has “a shot” at a “record quarter for vehicle deliveries,” according to CEO Elon Musk in a leaked email to employees.

The end of the quarter is approaching, and as usual, Tesla is in the middle of a rush of deliveries in order to improve its financials for the quarter.

Unlike other automakers, Tesla owns its entire distribution system, meaning that it owns every vehicle until it is delivered to customers.

This has a big effect on the automaker’s financials since it can’t recognize revenue until vehicles are delivered and it spent the money upfront to make those vehicles.

It results in Tesla pushing hard every quarter to reduce its inventory and deliver as many vehicles as possible toward the end of the quarter.

In a new email to employees sent today and obtained by Electrek, CEO Elon Musk told employees that with “all hands on deck,” they could achieve record deliveries.

However, the CEO notes that it would require them to have the highest number of vehicles per day to deliver that they ever had:

We have a shot at record quarter for deliveries, but we’ll have to rally hard to achieve it. This is the most number of vehicles per day that we’ would ever had to deliver.

There have been previous quarters when Tesla delivered 30% of the entire’s quarter vehicles during the last week of the quarter.

Musk added in the email:

Please consider vehicle deliveries to be the absolute top priority. It’s also extremely important that we keep factory output as high as possible over the remaining 10 days. This is vital for the California market.

Tesla’s last record deliveries were 112,000 vehicles delivered during the fourth quarter of 2019.

While “record deliveries” sound like a good thing, Tesla was expected to deliverer significantly more vehicles during the fourth quarter.

Tesla’s Q3 delivery estimate consensus from Wall Street analysts was 121,000 vehicles as of last week.

Last quarter, Tesla delivered 90,000 vehicles, but its inventory was badly affected by a factory shutdown due to the pandemic.

The results were regarded as positive considering the circumstances.

Electrek’s Take

As usual with Elon’s emails to employees, he left room for interpretation and didn’t go into details since he knows those emails will eventually leak.

But it sounds like if Tesla beats its previous delivery record, it would be narrowly so.

If he is referring to global deliveries, which has been the case in those types of emails before, it would put deliveries between 110,000 and 115,000 vehicles.

That would be lower than expected based on most estimates coming into the quarter.

The reason behind this is still unclear to me, but expectations for Chinese deliveries might have been too high.

Tesla disclosed production capacity of 200,000 vehicles at Gigafactory Shanghai exiting last quarter.

It led us and many people to believe that that China could contribute close to 50,000 vehicles in Q3, but that might have been too optimistic.

Either way, for Tesla to achieve a new record number of deliveries in the current economic conditions is still impressive, even if the deliveries come a few thousand vehicles short of the estimates.

What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.

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