Will Tesla beat the 33,000 sales target for 2014?

Will Tesla beat the 33,000 sales target for 2014?

Recall that on the Q3 conference call Tesla set expectations to hit the 33,000 sales mark at the end of the year. The 2014 Q4 earnings conference call is not until 2/17/2015.
Tesla does not release monthly sales numbers but whispers are out that they had a blowout December.

I'm betting on 33,800 worldwide sales. Anyone else care to write in stone your best guess?

Update 2/8/2015:
The best guess numbers for Q4 2014 (October, November, December) have been published by InsideEVs on their monthly scorecard. Disclaimer: Tesla does not give out exact monthly numbers. InsideEVs makes estimates for Tesla based on registrations, quarterly estimates, and/or other forms of research. The Q4 numbers as of now are best guess. Once quarterly numbers are released, they go back and reconcile from the earnings report.

Update 2/11/2015:
@matthew98 and @george.hawley gets credit for calling it at 31k. 2014 Deliveries (sales recognition) = 31,655

bonaire | January 8, 2015

Something between 31,900 and 32,100. P85D build issues and trucking logistics problems in Dec.

Red Sage ca us | January 8, 2015

Yes. 35,000+ delivered in 2014.

EVino | January 8, 2015

Now, now, Red Sage. You have to state a quantity, not a boundary.

Blu Zap | January 8, 2015

Don't forget the demo unit sales!! Who knows if that made an impact?

Bighorn | January 8, 2015


Brian H | January 10, 2015

Where'd the 125 end up? ;P | January 10, 2015

@Fingas: I think everyone who has responded with a guess has correctly understood that the 33,000 number refers to deliveries as opposed to sales in the title of the thread. That having been said I think the extra week that the factory was shutdown cost the company about 1,000 units. The announcement of the "D" caused hundreds, if not thousands of order changes that had to booger up logistics. The issue with the P85D seats caused some delays. Bottom line I'm guessing the number for the year to be between 31,000 and 32,000. I believe, to put a good face on it, the company will cite the huge number of deliveries that were crammed into December, making it a record month by far and the increase in the average selling price from about $95K per vehicle to maybe $105K by emphasizing P85D sales over lower cost versions in Decenber.

tes-s | January 10, 2015

Sales and deliveries are the same thing.

I say 33,333.

Bikezion | January 10, 2015

Not quite. Sales happen about 3 months before deliveries.

Bikezion | January 10, 2015

33,900 WAG

hillcountryfun | January 10, 2015


SMinnihan | January 10, 2015

They delivered the D's before they were ready with due bills on seats and they double discounted loaner sales purely to make quarter. Disperate moves, but as they already moved 2014 guidance down from 35k to 33k, the street would crush them with another miss. They will squeak by 33k. 33,025.

Captain_Zap | January 10, 2015

Is this like guessing how many beans are in a gallon glass jar?

nosken | January 10, 2015

It is sad that companies have to go through gyrations to placate Wall Street's short term vs long term views.

SamO | January 10, 2015

On December 30, I was at the factory and they had employees from corporate (not usually involved in any part of the delivery process) helping with deliveries. There were hundreds of cars prepped and waiting for delivery.

However many they deliver, they were all hands on deck.

Captain_Zap | January 10, 2015

I think that the production rate tells us more than anything else.

EVino | January 10, 2015

@george: Sales = recognition of Deliveries. That's the auto world. Let's not parse that any more.

Captain_Zap | January 10, 2015


The auto world, it is a changin'. Sooner or later that will be recognized and those that don't recognize that will be left in the dust.

Brian H | January 11, 2015

Tesla chooses to recognize sales only on delivery to the end user. Other mfrs fudge this by recording sales as deliveries to a dealer's lot. So they may have 1,000,000 sales that are actually parked in rows in dealerships.

tes-s | January 11, 2015

Tesla' terminology:

Sales and deliveries are the same thing.

Orders (when Tesla receives a deposit) occurs in advance.

In order to understand their announcements and shareholder letters, one must understand their terminology.

"Soon" is an interesting term in the Tesla language...not quite as precise a definition as sales, deliveries, and orders.

AlMc | January 11, 2015

Elon backed off the 35K number to 33K at the Q3ER conference call. He further then said 32-33K at a later date. They just make the lower number 32,100.

Al1 | January 11, 2015

33024 :)

Sales and deliveries are the same as per GAAP, but there will be a portion of that total number in finished goods inventory (on the way to clients, especially overseas).

Al1 | January 11, 2015

What Elon explains over and over again is that deliveries are not a good gauge for demand.

tes-s | January 11, 2015

But deliveries are a good gauge of sales.

shop | January 11, 2015

As much as Elon says he doesn't run the company for short term reasons, he sure is making a hash of it with respect to quarterly numbers. Every quarter, it is the same fire drill. Apart from screwing up the customer experience (balls get dropped when volume jumps like that), it also burns out good employees.

The new website design that touts Autopilot capabilities as shipping doesn't inspire confidence either. Companies with solid demand don't have to promise vapor ware. And dropping the P85 from the lineup was a big mistake in my mind.

Anyways, 30,942 is my guess.

tes-s | January 11, 2015

@shop - batching makes sense financially and logistically, but I agree it takes a huge toll on the customer experience and employees. Not worth it, IMHO.

Elon is pulling the demand levers to keep a backlog. I think we will see more and more pulling, especially if the MX is delayed further.

shop | January 11, 2015

I continue to think that MX has been delayed because Model S demand has been so high, that they simply don't have enough battery supply to meet existing Model S demand plus new Model X demand. So, to the extent that Model S demand slackens, they'll just move up Model X deliveries (but you would think it would take at least a quarter of lower than expected Model S numbers for them to respond to this though, takes a while for information to propagate and for the company to ramp up).

The reason why 2014 delivery numbers are lower (they initially forecast 35K, slipped to officially 33K forecast, and Elon's latest interview indicating that might slip too) appears due to a) factory reconfiguration which took longer than expected, and b) selling the D before they were ready to produce it. The second one is big time self inflicted and speaks to a disorganized company that doesn't bode well for even more explosive growth.

Having said all that, Tesla has a habit of upside surprises, so who knows!

Mireille and Conan | January 11, 2015

33,683 | January 11, 2015


Redmiata98 | January 11, 2015

33,001 just for spite!

AlMc | January 11, 2015

@http: If your number is correct I will be retiring! :)

@shop: Totally agree with your comments about the X delay being as much, if not more, of a function of how well the S is doing combined with their production constrains which now may be not only battery but QC, paint shop, growing 'pains' as much as any delay in the actual ability to produce a finished X.

In addition, they are testing the torque vectoring of the AWD in a known product with high margins before releasing the X.

Captain_Zap | January 11, 2015

I got the impression that Elon isn't going to succumb to old fashioned traditional auto industry financial measurement pressure (quarterly delivery numbers) as much in the future. They don't reflect what is really going on at the company now.

I think Elon is making moves to focus on the long term because it makes no sense to fret missing a number by a few days. It doesn't match Tesla's build to order, JIT manufacturing business model.

The past is gone and no indication of future performance, whereas current and projected production numbers are a good indicator. That is the number I pay attention to. Nobody buys stock based on what a company used to do. If they did, most companies would be long gone.

Mathew98 | January 11, 2015

34567 +/- 2000.

There. It should cover every over / under SWAG.

Red Sage ca us | January 11, 2015


Brian H | January 12, 2015

Pulling demand levers? Hardly even touching them so far. Compare with any other company.

tes-s | January 12, 2015

I thought autopilot and D were pretty good levers. I'm sure Elon has more though. Can hardly wait!

NomoDinos | January 13, 2015

34,125 or so

Brian H | January 13, 2015

New colors! More stores! A wee bit of advertising! More interviews!

Many more.

Mathew98 | January 14, 2015

Oops, Elon just drop the bomb about demands in China going to the toilet in Q4 due to the lack of SC in the region. There goes 18 bucks pre market and YE target will most likely be closely to 31K than 34K...

Just my revised SWAG.

tes-s | January 14, 2015

If they are production constrained, why would soft demand in China impact Q4 deliveries? If they drained the China queue, wouldn't that increase deliveries with fewer in-transit vehicles?

I'm sticking with 33,333.

Mathew98 | January 14, 2015

Hmmm, cars headed for China can't be turned around and be sold in the US...

It all depends on whether if the orders were cancelled pre or post production.

Or perhaps Elon is a sly fox who is setting up the shorts for Q4 announcement bombshell where Q4 number exceeds expectations...

tes-s | January 14, 2015

I thought they build cars to order, so the only cars heading to China would be cars that were ordered.

I find it hard to believe there are that many cancellations after the car enters production - and at $5000 each, I think Tesla would make out quite well pocketing the $5000 and selling the inventory car.

EVino | January 14, 2015

I'm looking at yesterday as a gift from Elon. He creates stock "discount days" about once a quarter :)

AmpedRealtor | January 14, 2015

Elon said this yesterday:

"Our aspiration was to deliver 33,000 cars. We sold, in terms of cars, far more than that."

Knowing how deliberately Musk speaks and how carefully he chooses his words, my bets are that he just announced a MISS. Parse the above sentence. Our aspiration (hope) was to deliver (money in bank) 33,000 cars. We sold (orders) far more than that. So here we go... Tesla missed the 33,000 deliveries but received orders for more. Bottom line, however, is that cars shipped ≠ goal ≠ money in the bank ≠ good news.

So demand is very strong because they "sold" more than 33,000 cars. They just didn't deliver 33,000 cars, which is going to be a big miss for Wall Street. Stock will tank again.

EVino | January 14, 2015

The usage at one of China's Superchargers continually makes the top five. Could it be that there's nowhere else to charge, no HPWCs or J1772s? I don't undertand the urban situation MS drivers have there but I'm going to equate it to a Los Angeles without Level 2 or 3 to support fringe charging.

AmpedRealtor | January 14, 2015

Didn't someone high up at Tesla in China step down recently. Big trouble in little china...

Mathew98 | January 14, 2015

Wu who? It's was Veronica Wu, head of TM in China. She has been replaced by the head of SC team in China.

carlk | January 14, 2015

Perhaps Tesla will start to do commercials in China?

hillcountryfun | January 14, 2015

Fingas: I totally agree as to the gift from Elon...thanks, yes, I believe I'll buy some more! And I'll stick with my estimate of 35,010 for 2014!

AmpedRealtor | January 14, 2015

@ cmcnestt,

Actually all investor eyes are on China and that's why the stock fell 6% today. Tesla would be well advised to do some advertising in China if there are some communications issues. The benefit of doing so would far outweigh any negatives. Tesla can only do so much through news coverage, web site, and social media, especially in a market that is a tough nut to crack.