Tesla Sets New Quarterly Record for Deliveries

Tesla has delivered 201,250 vehicles worldwide in Q2 2021, setting a new quarterly record for the company. Although it fell slightly short of the 201,850 deliveries that analysts had predicted, this was enough for Tesla shares to jump by 1.5% in Friday morning trading. This beats Tesla’s previous record of 184,800 vehicles delivered in Q1 2021.

The number of deliveries were especially impressive considering recent challenges that included slow sales in China, a massive recall of Tesla vehicles in China to fix issues with the Autopilot, and regulatory delays for Gigafactory Berlin, the latter of which is putting a crimp on Tesla’s ability to ramp up production capacity in Europe. Tesla currently relies on importing vehicles sold in Europe from Gigafactory Shanghai.

Like most manufacturers of electric vehicles, Tesla has had to cope with a shortage of the semiconductor chips that are necessary for the production of EV batteries. Most of these chips are manufactured in Taiwan. Tesla officials say that they might pay in advance for the semiconductor chips or acquire its own semiconductor chip manufacturer. Given Elon Musk’s history of wanting to control as much of the supply chain for his companies as possible, the latter may be the more likely option.

Musk did blame design changes and hikes in the base price of Tesla’s vehicles on challenges in the supply chain, including the chip shortage and difficulty obtaining raw materials. Tesla had previously considered mining nickel in a location not far from its factory in Nevada.

The company has also seen the departure of a few key executives, including longtime Tesla executive and (most recently) chief of heavy trucking Jerome Guillen. He had overseen heavy trucking, including overseeing the development of the electric Tesla Semi, since March 11.

On the bright side for Tesla, a German court recently rejected a bid by environmental groups to “clarify” provisional permits issued by the state of Bradenburg to allow for testing of equipment. Environmental groups’ efforts to nix construction of Gigafactory Berlin were also recently tarnished by a case of arson targeting the factory in which an extremist environmentalist group is a suspect. Tesla expects to begin manufacturing vehicles in Gigafactory Berlin by the end of the year.

Consumer Reports also restored the “Top Pick” rating to the Tesla Model 3 based on recent tests of the braking system conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The IIHS gave the system high ratings for avoiding other vehicles and pedestrians. Two Tesla models were also included in Cars.com’s Top 3 on its most recent list of top American-made vehicles, likely due to Tesla’s insistence on making some parts like batteries in factories that are only a short distance from the Gigafactories at which the vehicles are actually assembled.

Most of the vehicles delivered in Q2 2021 were Model 3 and Model Y vehicles with 204,081 of these two models rolling off the assembly line. 2,340 Model S and Model X vehicles were also delivered. Elon Musk had promised that deliveries of the new Model S should be at several hundred cars per week soon,” but did not expect to ramp up deliveries to thousands a week until an unspecified date in Q3 2021.