Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Tesla Management Talks Demand, Model Y, and More

By Daniel Sparks – Updated May 1, 2020 at 8:51AM

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 at some key takeaways from the electric-car maker's first-quarter earnings call, including how the Model Y vehicle rollout is going better than any previous Tesla product launch.

Tesla (TSLA 2.31%) stock has been on a tear recently, with shares up more than 80% year to date. The electric-car maker has impressed investors with an accelerated pace of execution. Tesla launched a new factory in China late last year and brought to market its new Model Y ahead of schedule in March.

Along with the company's soaring stock price, of course, comes high expectations. That's why investors were watching the electric-car maker closely when it reported earnings on Wednesday. Investors wanted to know how well the automaker was faring during this pandemic and whether it has continued its impressive operational cadence.

Tesla posted some impressive metrics in its first-quarter update. Deliveries jumped 40% year over year, helping revenue rise 32%. Further, the automaker posted its first-ever Q1 profit, helping the company achieve a third-consecutive quarter of profitability.

But these metrics only touch the surface. To get a better understanding of Tesla's recent progress and some of its plans going forward, here are three must-see takeaways from the company's first-quarter earnings call.

A person driving a blue Tesla Model Y

Model Y. Image source: Tesla.

Vehicle demand

Going into 2020, there were doubts about Tesla's ability to sustain its demand levels as federal credits for qualifying Tesla vehicle buyers expired on Jan. 1. Worries about orders compounded as COVID-19 put the economy into a downward spiral. But Tesla CFO Zachary Kirkhorn said demand is looking good, with the company exiting the quarter with its "highest ever backlog yet again."

Kirkhorn explained that, though the company's sales and delivery operations have paused in many locations due to COVID-19, Tesla is "still receiving many online orders, despite inability for our customers to experience the product prior to ordering."

Model Y production ramp

Tesla had some optimistic updates on its new Model Y, which was launched in March. Not only did the Model Y represent the company's fastest ever initial production ramp-up of a new vehicle, but it also contributed a gross profit for the company during its first quarter of production -- "something we haven't achieved with any product in the past," CEO Elon Musk said.

"This is our second large-scale product launch since Model 3 in 2017 and it's evidence to the progress we've made on cost control and ramp efficiency," Kirkhorn added.

1 million cars per year

While the company admitted it may report a loss in the near term as it copes with a factory shutdown in California and other implications from COVID-19, Musk was optimistic about its expansion plans.

"While many other companies are cutting back on investment, we are doing the opposite. We're absolutely pedal to the metal on new products and expanding the company."

More specifically, Musk said Tesla expects to have factories across North America, China, and Europe next year and a total production capacity "well over 1 million units a year." This compares to a stated production capacity of 690,000 units today.

Daniel Sparks has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Tesla. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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.
$248.00 (2.31%) $5.61

*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 10/04/2022.

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.