Tesla barely missed CEO Elon Musk’s goal of delivering 500,000 vehicles in 2020. The automaker announced Saturday that it delivered 499,550 vehicles in 2020. Despite the slight miss, Musk is celebrating the figure has a major milestone for the company.
Tesla set its 500,000 delivery goal prior to the sweeping impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Shortly after announcing its goal, the company had to shutter its plants in China and Freemont, California. Both factories were idle for several weeks, putting substantial pressure on Tesla’s ability to hit its goal.
There are really two areas of upside that allowed Tesla to come within striking distance of their goal. The first is the fact that the Model Y SUV launched ahead of schedule in March, something that virtually never happens at Tesla. Additionally, the company deployed an end-of-quarter push to drive up its Q4 numbers. Quarter-ending pushes are nothing new at Tesla, so this upside is less surprising than getting a new product out ahead of schedule.
Today’s announcement is another feather in Tesla’s cap for 2020. The company had its fifth profitable quarter in the third quarter. This profitability was aided by 139,000 deliveries during the quarter; beating Wall Street estimates. All of these milestones have helped propel Tesla’s stock into new heights during the year.
All told, Tesla ended up selling around 130,000 more vehicles in 2020 than it did in 2019. The increase means Tesla sold more battery-electric vehicles than any other global automaker. Tesla also notes that its delivery number for 2020 is not final, so it is possible they could hit their 500,000 target. The final number will be released in late January.