Q1 2014 delivery estimate

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:

- 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:

carlk | 9 April, 2014

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.

tes-s | 10 April, 2014

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

EQC | 10 April, 2014

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 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.

P85D | 10 April, 2014

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.

AmpedRealtor | 10 April, 2014

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.

LEvans | 10 April, 2014

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.

Out4aDuck | 10 April, 2014

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.

JAD | 10 April, 2014

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

tes-s | 10 April, 2014

@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.

EQC | 10 April, 2014

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.

AmpedRealtor | 10 April, 2014

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

LEvans | 10 April, 2014

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

Mathew98 | 10 April, 2014

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

LEvans | 10 April, 2014

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 :)

Red Sage ca us | 10 April, 2014

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.

JAD | 10 April, 2014


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.

Captain_Zap | 10 April, 2014

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

RedShift | 10 April, 2014

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.

tes-s | 10 April, 2014

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.

tes-s | 10 April, 2014

@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.

hsadler | 10 April, 2014


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.

Out4aDuck | 11 April, 2014

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.

drax7 | 11 April, 2014

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.

holidayday | 11 April, 2014

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

What is your source?

Mathew98 | 11 April, 2014

Tin foil hat...

butenegro | 11 April, 2014

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)

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

finally are 6607 units.

bonaire | 11 April, 2014

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.

tes-s | 11 April, 2014

@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.

Out4aDuck | 11 April, 2014

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.

minervo.florida | 11 April, 2014

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.

SamO | 11 April, 2014

Tes-a has been claiming reduced demand (with NO evidence) for months. So silly.

tes-s | 11 April, 2014

- Declining quarterly deliveries in CA.
- International deliveries that exceed production increases

It is just simple math. There is a very good reason Tesla does not report sales by country or even continent.

EQC | 11 April, 2014


With the way this debate keeps recurring, it might be useful just to set up a single thread and regularly (monthly? quarterly?) update the top post in it with the new data as you get it. If there's a decline in sales in any region, the numbers will speak for themselves. The reason for any apparent decline can be debated by those who respond.

I have no idea where to even find quarterly or monthly results for individual regions/states/etc., other than the few numbers that end up here and there in the news (ie: Norway's recent record month). Having that data posted as a reference would be interesting/useful to many.

If I remember correctly, Tesla has always said that they expect US Model S sales to be sustainable at 15-20K/year. It would be interesting to see where they fall in that range. If the LA Times link is accurate, Q1 2013 and Q1 2014 numbers are both within 1% of each other at roughly 4700, which would put Tesla near the high end of the range (assuming the quarters in-between were similar).

Out4aDuck | 11 April, 2014

There's a guy on the Yahoo Finance forum who calculated quarterly US sales by subtracting out the European and Canadian sales. His calculation went like this:
1Q13 – 4900 total, 0 EU, 158 Can, 4742 US
2Q13 – 5150 total, 0 EU, 184 Can, 4966 US
3Q13 – 5500 total, 1000 EU, 162 Can, 4338 US
4Q13 – 6900 total, 2906 EU, 126 Can, 3868 US
He thinks that 1Q14 will be nearly identical to the previous. That's certainly within a 15-20K/year range.

Benz | 12 April, 2014

Butenegro wrote:

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)

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

finally are 6607 units.

The total for Q1 2014 in Switzerland is 133.
The total for Q1 2014 in Denmark is 111.
The total for Q1 2014 in Austria is 38.

With these new figures I count a total of 2,892 in Europe.
But the totals for Belgium and Sweden are higher than listed above, so my guess is that the total figure in Q1 2014 for Europe is around 2,950.

If we add the approximate figures for the US and Canada, then we get a total of:

Europe 2,950 + US 3,800 + Canada 150 = 6,900

And that's equal to Q4 2013.

Benz | 12 April, 2014

January = 21
February = 34
March = ?

Well that brings us closer to the figure of 2,950 for Europe:

2,892 + 34 = 2,926

Suppose that the March figure for Belgium is close to 74, then we will see a figure of 3,000 for Europe!!!

AlMc | 12 April, 2014

Benz: I like your numbers/research. I suspect that some of the rush in Norway deliveries was to meet, or as TM has usually done, exceed, the guidance. I believe that TM will want to hit 7,000 for Q1 just to beat Q4 deliveries.

tes-s | 12 April, 2014

@EQC: it is simple math that US deliveries are declining. 2Q13 was the peak; we are not going to see those numbers again. I believe it will stabilize in the 3000's per quarter.

Besides tapping out the market for the price range, there are competitors. For example, I consider the Ford Fusion a competitor. It is an electric car with all the advantages, with a generator for extending range and providing heat in winter. Plus, it has lane departure, adaptive cruise, and other features some people desire. Volt is a cheap Fusion. Leaf is an all-electric commuter car. Of course none of these is a direct comparison to the MS - but they 30% to 50% of the price.

But it is all good and part of the master plan. Miles driven on electricity is the goal. My guess is MS is #3 behind Volt and Leaf, and Fusion could challenge for the #3 spot in the not-so-distant future. Then there is BMW, Cadillac...lots of cars on the way. Leaf and Volt are toys compared to the MS and these new competitors - they are real cars. MS is still the best, and the price reflects that.

LEvans | 12 April, 2014

When they add AWD to the Model S they will see a nice bump in sales but I doubt we've yet hit the high water mark even with just RWD. AWD represents about 40-50% of the market segment and Tesla is doing remarkably well without it.

SamO | 12 April, 2014

Yet again, I repeat, no evidence of reduction in demand.

I keep asking but tes-s is unable to provide. All you show is reduced deliveries.


1. US Deliveries through Q2 2013 were from reservations made in 2010, 2011 & 2012.

2. Production has increased significantly from 400/week in Q1 2013 to 700/week today.

3. Wait times are still 2+ months for MS60 in the US (6 weeks for P85+)

Please provide evidence of demand (not deliveries) from 2013 to present 'cause in the thousands of posts I haven't seen one scintilla.

Benz | 13 April, 2014

The total for Europe in Q1 2014 per country:

Norway: 2056
Germany: 239
Netherlands: 207
Switzerland: 133
Denmark: 111
Belgium: 55 (January+February)
France: 58
Austria: 38
Sweden: 33
Italy: 20
Spain: 8

Total = 2,958

There must be more data out there.

Koz | 13 April, 2014

Here's my swag based on the Euro data, what is known about production, guidance, past sales, and a wet finger in the wind:

Europe 3k
NAM 4.1k
On the way to China ?

That would be more in NAM for 1st qtr 2014 than 4th qtr 2013, for those counting. Also, bear in mind that 1st calendar qtr is generally worst qtr in auto industry, especially true for US with the way Fed Tax incentive is structured. If qtr 1 2014 is anywhere near qtr 4 2013 that effectively puts to bed TES-S' argument but I doubt this will be the last of it.

tes-s | 13 April, 2014

@samo - yet again, I repeat. It is math. Same wait time, fewer deliveries = less demand.

Where do you get 700/wk deliveries?? Let's keep to the facts here. That would be 9,100 vehicles per quarter - while possible, I have not seen anyone but you that thinks they are anywhere near that. Consensus and guidance is below 600/wk.

New features (especially AWD) and advertising will help demand, but for now US demand is declining.

I am becoming increasingly worried about European demand - particularly that the overwhelming majority seem to come from Norway. Small country - how long can they continue to deliver half as many to Norway as they do to the US?? The upside is the very low sales to the rest of Europe - figure out supercharging, home charging, and other challenges and that could take off.

I'm still VERY confident they will sell all the cars they can build. US deliveries steady to down, Norway deliveries will be down at some point. Even if there is a gap between Norway being down and the rest of Europe picking up the slack, there is always China and other new markets to take up any production capacity.

I completely agree with @WEB-SRFR. AWD will generate increased demand, both long-term and short-term. Long-term it opens up a segment of the market that would not have considered the vehicle (though it sells well in Norway??), so expands the market. In the short-term, there are many MS owners that bought it anyway, but really wanted AWD. Many will trade up in the first year or two of the AWD being available. A larger capacity and/or faster charging battery will have the same effect, as will anything else that increases range. I think "features" (lane departure, adaptive cruise, etc) will have some impact, but less than AWD and range/charging enhancements.

AlMc | 13 April, 2014

Considering production for Q1 and the appearance that TM did not push out all their loaners/showroom cars to increase numbers this past quarter, any number over 7,000 would be great.

Consider, TM started the quarter at production rates of 600 vehicles/week and ended it 'close to' 700/week, total production should have been 7,800. Production does not equal deliveries and the showrooms and loaners had to be restocked.

I have read predictions of deliveries well above 7,000. I don't want to see high 'whisper numbers' thrown around resulting in another Q3 2013.

As to declining demand in the US. I think the problem lies in how many people are in the reservation line. The line was long when production finally got underway the length of the line decreased to a waiting time in the US of 6-8 weeks. It appears to have remained at that level for the last year. TM appears to be happy with this wait time. Initial 'fanatics' were willing to wait years. Now people who are looking for a new vehicle who are less fanatic will not wait over 6-8 weeks (an opinion).

TM is doing a good job of ramping production, opening new markets and expanding the brand while balancing supply constraints. Add model X and model S AWD and TM will be supply constrained for the next couple years.

I am not worried about demand side of the TM story at all. I am worried that they will be supply constrained and lose business because of that. They can sell every car they make as fast as they can make them and will be able to do so for the foreseeable future.

tes-s | 13 April, 2014

6 months ago they were supply constrained because they could not get enough batteries. I thought that was to be rectified by now.

Are they still constrained by their ability to get enough batteries (or other parts)? Or are they simply constrained by hiring and training more workers and working more shifts / opening another line?

Benz | 13 April, 2014

The current number of Supercharger stations in the US (84?), must have lead to higher sales numbers. The combination of the Tesla Model S and the Tesla Supercharger network is so much appealing. I think that Tesla Motors will sell more Tesla Model Ses in the US in 2014 then they did in 2013.

tes-s | 13 April, 2014

I don't believe the superchargers added in the past quarter added much to the network. Large in number, large in marketing (cross-country route), but low in practical use.

3 well-placed superchargers would have more impact on demand than 30 on the cross country route.

I think Tesla gets it too. They know the importance to sales of certain locations - for example Sturbridge MA (or vicinity) that they announced 10 months ago.

tes-s | 13 April, 2014

And I am agreeing with @Benz. Every supercharger opened will put some group of potential buyers "over the edge" and they will purchase.

But I think it is quality (location), not quantity, that is important.

My guess is fewer MS sales in 2014 than 2013 in the US. I could be wrong.

Benz | 13 April, 2014

Total Tesla Model S deliveries in Q1 2014 in Canada is 80.

I hope that the total Tesla Model S deliveries in Q1 2014 in the US will be (at least) 3,920 to make a total of (at least) 4,000 in North America.

Benz | 13 April, 2014

A good quality product (specially a car) will sell in a certain market in even increasing and higher numbers for a number a years in a row. Therefore I think that sales of the Tesla Model S in the US in 2014 will be more than 20,000 (in 2013 it was lower than 20,000).

In the light of the above, Q1 2014 could very well be 4,000 (or at least 3,920).