Tesla Inc. topped electric car sales in first quarter 2018 production numbers released on Tuesday. With only ten years under its belt, Tesla has surpassed some manufacturing bottlenecks associated with accelerated production and delivery. Tesla CEO Elon Musk received a much needed breather from first quarter hiccups as Tesla forecasts exponential Model 3 production in the second quarter.
The company delivered 8,180 Model 3s in the first three months of 2018, compared with 6,468 from Toyota Motor Corp.’s Prius Prime plug-in hybrid and 4,375 from General Motor Co.’s Chevy Bolt. The breakthrough in Tesla production speed has vaulted the Model 3, Model S, and Model X, into the first, third, and fourth most delivered electric cars in the United States for quarter one of 2018.
With an output of just over 2000 Model 3s per week at the end of quarter one, Tesla has set its sights on amplifying production output to 5,000 Model 3s by the end of the second quarter. Tesla told its investors this would pave the “groundwork for Q3 to have the long-sought ideal combination of high-volume, good gross margin and strong positive operating cash flow.”
Tesla shareholders drew a sigh of relief when the 2018 second-quarter forecast quelled cash worries. Investors anticipated up to a $3 billion capital raise to ramp up production, but now the company says it “won’t require an equity or debt raise this year, apart from standard credit lines.” Shares rose to nearly 7 percent in early trading, showing that the public is regaining its trust in Tesla.
A Tesla press release on Monday highlighted the success of production increase in the first quarter of 2018 and set the stage for what is to come: “The Model 3 output increased exponentially, representing a fourfold increase over last quarter. This is the fastest growth of any automotive company in the modern era. If this rate of growth continues, it will exceed even that of Ford and the Model T,” according to Tesla.