Tesla is definitely making waves in the auto world, but it in no way has the same level of resources as other companies. Because of this, the number of units it produces a year is a little underwhelming. But as the company grows, so do expectations - if only the electric car maker could meet them.
According to CNBC, Tesla delivered just 76, 230 vehicles last year. This is just below the 80,000 target that the company had set for its 2016 goal. The short number, however, is apparently a conservative one. A press release noted that the company only counts a delivery one the transfer is complete and the paperwork is filed.
Furthermore, the company went on the record to note that there are additional 2,750 units that were not counted either because of a delay in transport or because the customer was unable to make the delivery. An additional 6,450 were in the middle of being sent out as 2016 came to a close. Those numbers will count for Tesla's first quarter in 2017 instead.
In the fourth quarter of last year, 22,200 vehicles were delivered, 12,700 of which were the Model S. The remaining 9,500, on the other hand, were for the Model X. The number, no matter how remarkable, is still below the 24,500 goals for those last few months of the year. And Tesla's stocks have suffered as a result.
Bloomberg points out that Elon Musk - the man behind Tesla - has a tendency to set incredibly ambitious goals and falling short of the target. The numbers discussed above are just proof of this once again. But there is more pressure this time around, as the car manufacturer just merged with SolarCity Corp., a solar panel installer, which has typically reported losses.
For 2017, Tesla has a lot of catching up to do. The company has announced its goal of 500,000 produced electric vehicles by the end of 2018. Furthermore, the company is supposed to begin production of the Model 3, which already has 400,000 reservations. The large jump in demand is arguably due to the fact that the Model 3 is the more affordable sedan option.
Moreover, Musk has his sights set on transforming Tesla from a small niche-supported electric car manufacturer to a full-fledged player in the auto industry.Producing half a million units annually by 2018 is no joke, but the company might be growing enough to support these numbers. The 2016 figures are up by at least 51 percent from the year before. But then again, Ford sold 73,089 units in November alone.
Nevertheless, critics have claimed that Tesla will not be able to deliver on its targets this year - especially in terms of the Model 3. Barclays analyst Brian Johnson has even assumed zero deliveries for the Model 3 in 2017. "There is a high risk of execution missteps," he said. "[Plus] a challenged track record on meeting timelines, cost challenges and potential impact from an otherwise full plate of initiatives in '17."