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Q1 2014 delivery estimate

If I remember correctly, Tesla delivered 6900 cars in the last quarter of 2013. However, their guidance for Q1 2014 was 6400 cars; they said the decrease would be due to completed cars "filling the pipeline" for China deliveries (i.e., a good number of cars would be completed, but on a cargo ship to China). Since then, I have seen analysts comment on the lower expected delivery number without realizing/remembering the reasoning....but I digress.

I've now seen a few estimates for Q1 2014 deliveries, and while I don't know the original sources of these numbers, things look good. Here's what I've got:

- 2000 cars delivered in Norway in Q1, with nearly 1500 in March alone (that was publicized in several places)

- 4700 cars delivered in the US in Q1 (LA Times: http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/la-fi-hy-tesla-sales-slow-20140408...)

- I'm guessing that there were probably at least a couple hundred deliveries in other areas of Europe, Canada, etc.

- Total estimate, assuming the Norway and US numbers are accurate: 6900+

Tesla should be way over their 6400 guidance.

Additionally, I thought that maybe the increase in deliveries may have just been due to a delay in the shipment to China, but according to Bloomberg, at least some number of Model S's are on their way now and will be delivered this month: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-10/tesla-kicks-off-china-sales-thi...

I went through my ordering and factory pick up all in March. Everything I've experienced indicate to me they are running the very efficient production/delivery line in full gear.

How long does it take to ship a car to China?? Did they have a dip in deliveries when they started shipping to Europe?

From a very quick web search, it looks like cargo ships take about 3 weeks to cross the pacific. I assume there's some time that needs to be spent at both ports, some prep to the car before leaving the US, and some prep and time before actual delivery in china...so my best guess is at least a month between when the car leaves the factory to when it can be delivered in China.

I remember Tesla providing guidance/predictions for a dip in deliveries when they started shipping to Europe, but I think the reality was that it was either slight or non-existent.

There are of course multiple variables that could come into play -- predicted vs. actual timing of when a first batch of cars to be sent to a new market is produced, predicted vs. actual numbers in that first shipment, the ever-increasing rate of production at the factory, etc.

The slowing sales is expected. How many people are really afford a Model S. The 3rd generation car if done right will be amazing for Tesla.

I'm reading investor concern that sales in the US are slowing. Exceeding guidance may not be sufficient if the sales figures in the US are dropping. Tesla's recent leasing announcement, I've read, was a response to slowing sales in the US. That's just what I've read. I don't know how much of this is really true.

Add up the sales of the higher spec E class, 5 series, A6/7 and then add to that the sales of the S550, 7 series, and the A8 and you have the Model S market. I used to be in that market segment until I test drove a P85. Can't imagine buying a gasoline car.

I refuse to believe we are anywhere near the limit of the Model S market penetration for Tesla. It would help if they make the seats more comfortable and add a little bit more luxury to the Model S but the Model S is vastly superior to the competition even as it is.

I'm waiting for AWD but those of you who have a Model S, go out of your way to give test drives to your friends from drive German cars. I will do that when I get my Model S.

I'm seeing 2800 in Europe and 4100 in North America. I'm much more certain about the European numbers, so if NA ends up at 4700, then it will really be big news.

seems like comparing December 31st VIN numbers to March 31st vin numbers would give a pretty good idea of how many were sold.

@amped - US quarterly sales are declining. I have been posting that for 6 months. Those in denial are finally coming around.

Good news is worldwide demand is still strong, and should be enough to carry them until they get the MX out.

Tesla needs to keep things moving - need the MX in about a year, and then GenIII two years after that.

Contrary to what some believe, there is a limit to how many people will buy a $100,000 car.

JAD: Tesla produces VINs out of order (due to batching, I think) and I don't think anybody in the forums has figured out how to know what "real" is. I've read of VINS thousands apart being delivered at roughly the same time. I think I also read recently of somebody receiving a delivery of VIN ~39,000 while somebody with VIN ~33,000 was waiting for news on the car being built.

Model S is a $70,000 car, not a $100,000 car.

Its a $70K-$100K car :)

It's a $62K car for me but a $100K car for Brian H.

I seriously wonder how much lack of AWD is affecting Model S orders. I know I am waiting for that and I'm unlikely alone.

About half of what Mercedes sells is sold with AWD so there is a real desire for AWD in the luxury car segment. If they ever add AWD it can only help with future orders. Based on the preference of about half of S class buyers to buy an S class with AWD, Tesla is potentially missing out on quite a few potential orders by not having this feature available yet.

I know the MX is coming but I really rather prefer a car. And I know how well the MS drives in the snow and in Norway. Just think it can do even better with AWD :)

tes-s concluded, "...there is a limit to how many people will buy a $100,000 car."

...when they know they have a better option available, such as the Tesla Model S.

@eqc

I know vins are not strictly in order and p85 are built over s60, but average vins from both time period s seem like a reasonable estimate plus or minus a few hundred.

Not all VINs are sales. They have been re-populating the loaner fleet.

Um, it's a 60 to 80k car. Please subtract gas and other sundry maintenance costs.

I should say, though: this is quite normal for any car.
Advertising a bit should help, as should AWD addition. AWD is almost certain. Advertising is less certain.

Tesla has a lot of options available to halt the waning demand for the MS in the US. AWD and superchargers are two "objections" I hear most often, but other features (lane departure, adaptive cruise control, upgraded seats, and others) would also add to the buyer pool. They could also advertise...

Less US deliveries is simply a matter of having met the pent-up demand and meeting the backlog, exactly as Tesla had forecast. This is not a surprise.

They will continue to deliver cars as fast as they can make them by opening new markets, and perhaps work on features and other efforts to extend demand in existing markets. I think it is likely current MS owners would upgrade for some key new features - like AWD - so additional deliveries due to new features is not limited to "virgins". That will also begin to create a more robust used MS market - right now it is very thin since they are so new. Not many people sell a car within a year of purchase.

The future is bright.

@captain - Repopulating does not cut into sales - they sold a car and built a car to replace it.

Expansion does - but not to any material degree. 3 cars per sales location? 3 loaners per service location? They just don't open that many locations in a quarter to even measure the impact.

@JAD

Report gives 'delivered' not built or shipped. Batches of VINs could be on ships, trucks, trains, or at Delivery Centers, Service Center loaners, etc. They don't count.

Tesla could ramp up to max at the factory and store them in the yard. But that does not give any indication of sales and profit, which is what investors are interested in.

The VIN delivery waterline at Dec 31 is pretty easy to see - about 28200. The Mar 31 waterline is much harder to pick out, as the VIN's are being delivered WAY out of sequence. Your guess is as good as mine.

The number of completed cars still in Tesla's possession (in transit, loaners, demos, etc) really don't matter unless there is a significant difference from last quarter.

Finally, from the numbers given in the 4Q report, the average retail price of a Model S was over $109k.

AWD from my observation here in Florida is rare. Given the cars torque and
Weight, AWD should benefit tire wear.

Hope tesla finds a solution for turning rear tires simultaneously with front tires.

tes-s: "US quarterly sales are declining. I have been posting that for 6 months."

What is your source?

Tin foil hat...

Registrations in Europe:
Norway: 2056
Germany: 239
Netherlands: 207
France: 58
Italy: 20
Spain 8
Switzerland: 16 (January and February)
Austria: 13 (January and February)
Belgium: 21 (January)
Denmark: 18 (January)
Sweden: 1 (January)

Total:
EU: 2657
USA: approximately 3800.
Canada: 150 approximately.

finally are 6607 units.

Those look around the correct estimate. Very good analysis butenegro. North America is harder to determine but 3600-4000 range is possible.

When you look back on the reservation profile - it was always a six to one ratio of N.A. to Europe. If sales continue to be roughly 2:1 ratios like this, what that means it is critical to focus on the markets that are needing help. That will come after starting China and right-hand drive markets. Until then, things seem like they are running production roughly 700/wk to fill pipeline and deliver orders. There needs to be some way to grow US orders further. The Model X orders also are a six to one ratio of N.A. to Europe when you look at the Tally thread there on TMC. It would be great if Tesla could share more details of their numbers. So many people are trying to "infer" the demand and sales due to their desire to figure out the future stock price. Giving actual sales numbers monthly would be great. And sharing the reservation counts on the quarterly SEC filings would also be beneficial to relieving some of the volatility of the guesswork.

@holiday - CA is the largest market, and they saw declines each quarter in 2013. International deliveries started in August/September and there have only been modest increases in production - so the cars have to come from somewhere.

It would be nice if Tesla would report quarterly sales by country or even continent - does not seem too much to ask.

For 1Q13 and much of 2Q13, Tesla was still fulfilling orders from the original reservation pool. So if you want to look at sustained demand in North America, you need to compare 3Q13 to 4Q13 to 1Q14.

How can they say sales are peaking or going down?

No advertising yet, VERY few sales centers, and at least half of the people I talk to never heard of Tesla.


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