We have received more information about the critical North American market for Tesla (TSLA) as the automaker is inching closer to its historic delivery goal with only a day to go in the quarter.

Tesla’s Q4 2020 delivery goal

The truth is that we don’t really know what Tesla’s delivery goal is for the quarter.

We assume that it is around 181,000 deliveries in order to achieve 500,000 deliveries in 2020, which has been a long-term goal for Tesla.

CEO Elon Musk recently mentioned the goal as achievable in an email to employees obtained by Electrek last weekend, but the goal could be higher internally.

Tesla recently tightened up its internal information when it comes to delivery goals, and it is extremely fragmented per market in order to keep overall numbers secret.

However, we are getting a better idea of where Tesla is in relation to its goal.

Tesla is within 1,000 deliveries of its goal in North America

Sources familiar with the matter said today that Tesla is at roughly 1,000 units away from its goal in North America for the quarter.

The goal is presumably North America’s contribution to the target of 181,000 electric cars globally, but this is not confirmed.

With just over one day left in the quarter, the goal is achievable, but it is cutting it close.

Other markets are also obviously contributing to the goal, but North America is always critical at the end of the quarter since the transit times are shorter for vehicles coming out of Fremont factory.

Tesla is still delivering vehicles in Europe and Asia, but the focus is on getting cars out of Fremont factory to local markets.

Electrek’s Take: It’s a victory no matter what

Let’s say that the goal is indeed 180,000 vehicles and Tesla misses it by 1,000 vehicles. That’s still the company’s new quarterly delivery record by 40,000 units.

That’s incredible.

But the goal of 500,000 vehicles delivered in 2020 has some significance since it has been a longtime target for Tesla.

In an earnings call five years ago, Elon predicted that it could happen, and not many people believed him:

I do remain confident about half a million cars in 2020, and maybe being able to exceed that. That’s five years from now. If you go five years in the past for Tesla, we were producing 600 cars per year — now we can produce 600 cars in three days. So I think going from here to 500,000 cars a year is a much smaller leap.

I think he might rethink his “much smaller leap” comment after the “production hell” that Tesla went through with Model 3, but the prediction is still impressive.

We often joke about Elon’s prediction capability, especially when it comes to Tesla delivering self-driving, but we have to give credit where credit is due.

Speaking of where credit is due, kudos to Tesla employees who have to be working tirelessly to achieve the goal this quarter while most people are on holiday.

For Tesla shareholders out there, like myself, we owe a big thanks to those employees for the wild ride that TSLA has been in 2020.

I hope for them that 2021 is going to be a bit smoother.

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