Investors have been anxiously awaiting Tesla Model 3 production numbers as rumors have been swirling about problems at the electric automaker.
The speculation has been so widespread that Tesla CEO Elon Musk used April Fool’s Day to joke about the company going bankrupt. That’s obviously not the case but there has been intense scrutiny over the slow rollout of the Model 3 and upcoming debt payments.
Tesla is trying to calm those fears by releasing its first quarter vehicle production and delivery statistics. Jumping into the numbers, Tesla built 34,494 vehicles in its “most productive quarter” in history. Breaking that number down even further shows Tesla made 9,766 Model 3s while the remaining 24,728 units were split between the Model S and Model X. Tesla went on to note it achieved the “fastest growth of any automotive company in the modern era” and claimed “If this rate of growth continues, it will exceed even that of Ford and the Model T.”
While less than a third of the vehicles were Model 3s, Tesla says production of the entry-level EV “increased exponentially, representing a fourfold increase over last quarter.” Production has doubled on a weekly basis and Tesla says this was a result of addressing “production and supply chain bottlenecks, including several short factory shutdowns to upgrade equipment.”
Tesla aims to build 5,000 Model 3s per week
In the past week, the company built 2,020 Model 3s and expects to produce another 2,000 Model 3s this week as well as 2,000 Model S and X vehicles. Tesla says this accomplishment will highlight the fact that Model 3 production exceeds that of the Model S and Model X.
With the problems worked out, Tesla believes production will continue to rapidly increase in the future. As a result, the company expects to be building approximately 5,000 units per week in about three month.
Since Tesla believes it will be able achieve a “good gross margin” and “strong positive operating cash flow,” the company says it won’t need to raise equity or debt this year apart from standard lines of credit.
On the delivery side, Tesla put customers behind the wheel of 29,980 vehicles including 8,180 Model 3s, 11,730 Model S’ and 10,070 Model Xs. The company also notes over 6,000 vehicles are in transit and demand remains strong for the Model S and X despite the launch of the Model 3.
Delays causing order cancellations
The news isn’t entirely rosy as Tesla confirmed almost all Model 3 cancellations have been the result of delays. This includes both production delays and the delay of high-profile options such as all-wheel drive and the standard battery which will finally enable the Model 3 to hit its highly touted $35,000 price tag. Despite this, Tesla says Model 3 reservations have remained stable throughout the first quarter of 2018.