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Tesla Vehicle Production and Deliveries Are Soaring

By Daniel Sparks – Sep 8, 2018 at 10:33AM

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In a company update, Tesla CEO Elon Musk reports surging sales, urges employees to ignore the media, teases new products, and more.

"We are about to have the most amazing quarter in our history," Tesla (TSLA 6.24%) CEO Elon Musk said in a letter to employees published on the electric-car maker's blog shortly after market close on Friday. The letter served as an update on the company, providing some insight into vehicle production and sales trends and even teasing new products.

Here are some of the key takeaways from the update:

A red Tesla Model 3 driving at sunset.

Model 3. Image source: Tesla.

1. Musk to employees: Ignore the media

There's been no shortage of Tesla headlines recently. Just to name a few, Musk considered taking Tesla private in August, sharing the news in a controversial tweet. Later that month, the CEO said he decided Tesla should stay public. More recently, Tesla made headlines when its chief accounting officer stepped down.

In his letter to employees Friday, Musk urged them to ignore the media:

For a while, there will be a lot of fuss and noise in the media. Just ignore them. Results are what matter and we are creating the most mind-blowing growth in the history of the automotive industry. Even the Ford Model T, which held the world record for the fastest growing car in history, didn't grow as fast in sales or production as the Model 3.

2. Vehicle production is soaring

During the update, Musk noted that the company is on pace to build and deliver "more than twice as many cars as we did last quarter."

This is a notable achievement considering Tesla delivered a record number of vehicles in Q2. Thanks to strong growth in Model 3 production and deliveries, Tesla's second-quarter deliveries were up 85% year over year and 36% sequentially. A doubling in Tesla's third-quarter vehicle deliveries would mean deliveries more than tripled compared with the year-ago quarter.

It's also worth noting that this prediction from Musk suggests the company is on pace to meet its guidance for vehicle deliveries during the quarter.

3. Tesla teases new products

Musk used the letter as an opportunity to create some buzz for Tesla's product line.

Moreover, we also have the most exciting new product lineup of any company in the world. There is the Model Y, the Tesla (pickup) Truck, the Semi and the new Roadster. Then there is the Solar Roof, which is spooling up in production, and continued advancements in Powerwall and Powerpack.

But Musk also left employees with some cryptic commentary on unannounced products, saying, "And that's just what people know about ..."

4. Seven executive changes

The bulk of Musk's company update was dedicated to detailing some executive promotions and changes. 

  • Jerome Guillen has been promoted to president of the company's entire automotive operations.
  • Kevin Kassekert was promoted to VP of People and Places, where he is responsible for human resources, facilities, construction, and infrastructure development.
  • Chris Lister is being promoted to vice president of the company's Gigafactory operations.
  • Felicia Mayo was promoted to a vice president role to lead human resources and Tesla's diversity and inclusion programs, reporting directly to Musk and Kassekert.
  • Laurie Shelby, who is vice president of Tesla's environmental, health, and safety (EHS) efforts, will now report directly to Musk.
  • Cindy Nicola, who serves as VP of global recruiting at Tesla, will now report to both Kassekert and Musk.
  • Dave Arnold was promoted to senior director, global communications, where he will oversee Tesla's communications team.

Investors will get a more detailed update on Tesla's recent progress after the quarter closes. The automaker will release its quarterly vehicle delivery and production update in the first few days of October.

In the company's second-quarter shareholder letter, Tesla forecast to produce 50,000 to 55,000 Model 3 units during Q3, with total deliveries of the vehicle coming in even higher. Tesla also importantly predicted it would report a profit in both its third and fourth quarters.

Daniel Sparks owns shares of Tesla. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Tesla. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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