Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

How Many Model X Cars Will Tesla, Inc. Deliver This Quarter?

By Daniel Sparks - Dec 6, 2017 at 6:33PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Here's a look back at Model X's staggering sales growth -- and what to expect next.

With sales growth of Tesla's (TSLA -5.00%) Model S sedan essentially coming to a halt since last year, there is growing interest in the automaker's next catalysts. Sure, the Model 3 is expected to help Tesla's vehicle sales soar -- but that won't happen until Tesla ramps up production of the new vehicle. In the near term, this is putting the spotlight on the electric-car maker's SUV -- the Model X -- as Tesla's growth driver.

So, can the Model X help Tesla's sales grow in Q4? Here's a look at what to expect from Model X deliveries during the quarter.

A white Model X with falcon wing doors open

Model X. Image source: Tesla.

Model X deliveries

Tesla's sales growth in Model X since the vehicle was launched in September of 2015 has been staggering. Unit deliveries hit a record high in Tesla's most recent quarter and have increased sequentially every quarter since its launch except one. Or here's the best way to put recent growth in Model X deliveries in perspective: Trailing-12-month Model X sales of just under 43,000 units are 168% higher than the 16,000 units delivered in the year-ago period.

While Model X sales are still on the rise, they've slowed meaningfully in the past few quarters. Model X unit sales in Tesla's third quarter, for instance, were up 19% sequentially and 35% year over year. Even more, Model X deliveries were up just 4.3% compared with Tesla's previous quarterly record for Model X deliveries set in the first quarter of 2017.

What to expect

With Model X sales growth slowing substantially in the last few quarters, investors shouldn't expect the SUV to contribute much growth to overall sales. On the other hand, investors also shouldn't expect Model X sales growth to stall yet, either.

In Tesla's third-quarter shareholder letter, management said it saw record net orders for Models S and X in its third quarter. In addition, management guided for a record 27,000 combined Model S and X deliveries -- a level that would probably be difficult to achieve without sequential growth in Model X deliveries.

A Tesla Model X on the company's general assembly line at its factory in Fremont, CA.

Tesla Model X. Image source: author.

Management is particularly bullish on Model X. In July, Tesla said that it wasn't until this summer that its stores were equipped with a sufficient number of Model X display and test-drive units. Its stores "had been operating with far short of what was needed and, in some cases, none at all," Tesla said in its second-quarter update on vehicle deliveries. But with Tesla finally prioritizing demand generation for Model X to the same degree it was pushing Model S sales, management was optimistic about sales potential for the SUV, saying, "There appears to be substantial untapped sales potential for Model X."

With this background in mind, Tesla's Model X sales are likely to hit record levels in Q4, but sequential growth will probably be slower than in recent quarters. I'm expecting about 12,500 Model X deliveries or more in Q4, up 5% sequentially and 31% year over year. This would bring year-over-year growth in trailing-12-month Model X deliveries to 81%.

Assuming the Model S can account for the rest of Tesla's expected 27,000 combined Model S and X deliveries, vehicle deliveries excluding any Model 3 deliveries would be up 3% sequentially and 21% year over year.

Tesla reports its quarterly vehicle deliveries within three days of the quarter's end. So expect to find out exactly how many Model X units were delivered during the quarter by Jan. 3.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Tesla, Inc. Stock Quote
Tesla, Inc.
$697.99 (-5.00%) $-36.77

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 06/29/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.