Tesla, arguably the first name when it comes to specialized electronic vehicles and currently the best-selling manufacturer of “plug-in” cars in the world, still has its off periods when it could barely make any sales. This is in spite of their Model 3 sedan that has the most entry-level price available among all their vehicles. For the first quarter of 2019 Tesla lost $702 million due to not being able to deliver its ordered cars, and even briefly considered shuttering its retail stores. That suddenly seems like a distant memory after the company accomplished record sales for the second quarter.
The Verge has it that Tesla, on Tuesday July 2, has somehow gotten over its e-vehicle delivery problems earlier in the year to make sure that a surprising number of cars reached the customers that had ordered them. By the end of Q1 the electric automaker still had 10,000 cars “in transit” to their destination retailers, to which was added roughly 85,000 deliveries out of the 87,048 they manufactured within Q2. Industry analysts were buggy-eyed at this splendid recovery on the part of Tesla, which comes close to the record high deliveries they achieved as 2018 came to an end.
In a way, strong second-quarter finish for Tesla somehow manages to soften the sting that had been the recent departure of three of the company’s executive vice presidents. They were Tesla Europe VP Jan Oehmicke, production VP Peter Hochholdinger (having been pirated by Lucid Motors, a new up-and-coming e-vehicle startup), and engineering VP Steve McManus. They are but the latest in an intermittent exodus of executive figures from the e-automaker. The last time officials of comparable level left Tesla was in September last year. Not helping was the drop in the company’s stock price over the first half of 2019.
Elon, Musk, Tesla CEO and their former chairman, was confident that their Q1 stumble would be remedied when Q2 was completed, although he did cause some concerns with employees on the last week of June, where he exhorted them to work and reach the production-delivery goal they had set in May. “The reality is that we are on track to set an all-time record [in vehicle deliveries], but it will be very close,” Musk said in a staff email. “However, if we go all out, we can definitely do it!” Whether that was the reason or not, the fact remains that Tesla exceeded analyst expectations.
It was quickly reflected on Wall Street when the former $150 stock price of Tesla climbed back to as high as $240 following the release of the e-vehicle manufacturer’s Q2 results. With this, they could look forward to resuming their 2019 goal of making and delivering anywhere from 360,000 to 400,000 electric vehicles in total.
Image from Los Angeles Times