At the close of Wednesday’s market session, shares of Tesla were up 6% after the electric automaker reported record production and delivery numbers during the second quarter, earning praise from market analysts and automotive executives alike.
“I think the demand was there,” said auto executive Jim Press, formerly of Chrysler and Toyota. “I think a lot of this quarter was really done by stoking up production. They had unfilled orders, especially outside of the United States. The Model 3 filled a lot of that production need. They may have sacrificed some potential of the higher-margin, other vehicles. We’ll have to see. It does show well, and boy, I’ll tell you what: the green car industry itself is doing very well now compared to what it has been doing.”
“The whisper numbers were much lower than what they actually reported,” said Loup Ventures Managing Partner Gene Munster. “So, this was entrenched, I think, in Street thinking that it’s hard to pick what the underlying demand is. And I would point to two numbers: in the December quarter, they peaked Model 3 at 63,000 deliveries. [This quarter,] they did 77,000. It went down in March, and now its gone up to 77,000. There [were]more headwinds than tailwinds in the June quarter. … If you take that, maybe the base case that there [were]equal head- and tailwinds for the June quarter, and they stepped up from the peak Model 3 quarter, and they have greater demand, or at least the backlog is greater that they entered, I think the case is powerful that there is something bigger going on here.”
Q2 Optimism Comes to Fruition
Earlier this year, CEO Elon Musk said Tesla would not be able to produce a profit in the first quarter of 2019. Despite the negative outlook for profitability in the first quarter, Musk was more optimistic about the company churning a profit in the second quarter.
“Given that there is a lot happening in Q1, and we are taking a lot of one time charges, and there are a lot of challenges getting cars to China and Europe, we do not expect to be profitable in Q1,” Musk said during a call with reporters on Thursday evening. “We do think that profitability in Q2 is likely.”
With the phasing out of its physical dealerships, the automaker is looking to use online sales as its primary driver.
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