As if Tesla's (NASDAQ:TSLA) Model 3 production ramp-up hasn't already been in the spotlight enough, the electric-car company's vehicle production and deliveries will be scrutinized next week when management shares its quarterly update on vehicle production and deliveries.
Ahead of Tesla's quarterly update on its production and sales volume, here's an overview of what investors should be looking for from each of its vehicles: Models S, X, and 3.
Model S and X
In 2017, Tesla's combined Model S and X deliveries hit a record high, driven by a sharp increase in Model X deliveries. Deliveries of the electric SUV soared 168% in 2017, to about 43,000. This increase was helped by growing demand and a continued ramp-up in Model X production.
During the same period, Model S deliveries continued to look like they've peaked. Though Tesla's nearly 55,000 Model S deliveries in 2017 were up 8% year over year, they were about 700 units below Tesla's record Model S deliveries for the trailing-12-month period ending in the third quarter of 2016.
Combined Model S and X deliveries in 2017 increased 33%, to a record of approximately 101,000.
Looking ahead to 2018, Tesla has said it expects combined deliveries of both models to remain on par with performance in 2017. "We expect Model S and Model X deliveries to be approximately 100,000 in total, constrained by the supply of cells with the old 18650 form factor," Tesla said in its fourth-quarter shareholder letter.
In Tesla's first quarter, therefore, investors should look for combined Model S and X deliveries of about 25,000 units -- a pace that would allow Tesla to easily achieve its guidance for 100,000 combined Model S and X deliveries.
Model 3 production and deliveries will be the report's headliners; investors will be looking for a rapid ramp-up in both.
Of Tesla's 29,967 vehicle deliveries in Q4, just 1,542 were Model 3s. This highlights how far behind Tesla is with its initial production ramp-up plans for the vehicle. When Tesla first launched the Model 3, the automaker was aiming to achieve a weekly production rate of 5,000 units by the end of 2017. But this target has since slipped, to the end of the second quarter of 2018.
Given the importance of Tesla's Model 3 ramp-up to the company's growth plans, the automaker has also been providing updates on Model 3 production in its quarterly delivery updates -- and it's expected to do the same for Q1. In Tesla's fourth-quarter update, management said it finished the quarter with a production run rate that extrapolated to over 1,000 vehicles per week. Furthermore, the company said it produced 793 Model 3s in the last seven working days of the quarter.
For Tesla's first quarter, investors should look for a sharp increase in quarterly Model 3 deliveries, to between 10,000 and 12,000 units. As far as Tesla's production rate, management said it expected to finish the quarter at a run rate of 2,500 units per week. But the big question will be whether Tesla is still aiming for a wildly ambitious Model 3 production target of 5,000 units per week by the end of Q2.
Tesla reports its quarterly vehicle deliveries within three days of each quarter's end.