Elon Musk say’s he’s ‘proud’ as Tesla only narrowly misses his 500,000 vehicle target for 2020 – and reveals deliveries in China of Model Y will begin shortly

  • Tesla delivered 499,550 vehicles in 2020, but Elon Musk set out a goal of 500K
  • Tesla has reported profits over the last five quarters and has seen its share price rise by over 700 percent over the past year
  • They delivered 180,570 vehicles during the fourth quarter, a company record
  • Deliveries on the Model Y car in China are expected to begin imminently 

Tesla Inc. on Saturday reported better-than-expected 2020 vehicle deliveries, driven by a steady rise in electric vehicle adoption, but narrowly missed its ambitious full-year goal during a punishing year for the global auto industry.

The company delivered 499,550 vehicles during 2020, above Wall Street estimates of 481,261 vehicles, according to Refinitiv data – but 450 units shy of CEO Elon Musk’s target of half a million vehicles.

Musk tweeted he was ‘proud of the Tesla team for achieving this major milestone.’

‘At the start of Tesla, I thought we had (optimistically) a 10% chance of surviving at all,’ he said.

Tesla deliveries for 2020 surpassed expectations, with 499,550 vehicles delivered

The company delivered 499,550 vehicles during 2020 – 450 units shy of CEO Elon Musk’s target of half a million vehicles 

On Twitter, congratulations from supporters and bullish investors poured in, lauding the electric vehicle maker for its stellar year, which has defied wider auto industry trends of slumping sales, quarterly losses and global supply chain disruptions.

Tesla’s share price has risen more than 700 percent over the last year, the company has reported five consecutive quarterly profits and in December it was included in the S&P 500 index.

But some online investor accounts criticized Tesla for saying it had achieved its guidance.

Tesla at the start of 2020 said it would ‘comfortably exceed 500,000 units’ for the year, a target it has left unchanged despite the pandemic. 

Chief Financial Officer Zachary Kirkhorn in October said Tesla was ‘aiming to achieve (its) original 2020 guidance.’

Tesla has pinned hopes on new markets such as Europe and Asia, with competition intensifying in its home turf as legacy automakers double down on their investments in the booming EV space.

Tesla’s delivery push has been supported by its new Shanghai factory, the only plant currently producing vehicles outside California. 

The Model Y car should boost sales seven further over the coming year in China

New cars are being produced in Shanghai and deliveries should start in China soon

The carmaker said Model Y production in Shanghai has begun, with deliveries expected shortly.

Bloomberg reports the Model Y will cost 339,900 yuan ($52,074) in China when sales begin in the country.

Meanwhile, the Model Y Performance car will cost 369,900 yuan ($56,620) in China.

In the United States, production of the Model Y takes place in Fremont, California, and delivers on the vehicle began in March 2020. 

Palo Alto, California-based Tesla said it delivered 180,570 vehicles during the fourth quarter, a quarterly record for the electric carmaker, beating estimates of 163,628 vehicles.

The good sales news for Tesla caps off a busy 2020 for Musk.

In May, his SpaceX company launched its first manned flight, becoming the first private company to bring somebody to orbit.

He was embroiled in controversy about his opinions on pronouns, which drew criticism from many, including his partner, Grimes, who gave birth to their son in May.

Musk also claimed to have contracted COVID-19 and went on to dismiss the effectiveness of testing, as well as the seriousness of the virus. 

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