Tesla has said it is bringing its build program forward by two years to accommodate higher orders for the Model 3 and raise overall volume to 500,000 units a year.
The company says that in the first week of taking orders for the Model 3, it received 325,000 deposits. It now plans to build 500,000 total units (combined for Model S, Model X, and Model 3) in 2018, two years earlier than previously planned. It acknowledged that increasing production five fold over the next two years “will be challenging and will likely require some additional capital, but this is our goal and we will be working hard to achieve it”. The higher volume Model 3 enters production in the final quarter of 2017.
Tesla also said it remains on plan to make the first battery cells at its Gigafactory in Q4 2016, and that it is “adjusting our plans there to accommodate our revised build plan”.
Tesla said that Q1 Model S net orders rose 45% compared to a year ago, and grew at a faster pace than last quarter. The more rapid pace of growth was driven, Tesla said, by increased order growth in North America and Europe, and a more than 160% increase in orders from Asia compared to a year ago. It also said that it is on target to make 80,000 to 90,000 overall car sales in 2016.
In Q1, Tesla reached a new quarterly production record of 15,510 vehicles, up 10% from Q4. Q1 Model S production totalled 12,851 vehicles, but Model X production of 2,659 vehicles was “insufficient to meet our projected level of deliveries”. However, it also added that it is making significant progress in increasing production and plan to continue increasing total vehicle production to support over 50,000 deliveries in the second half of 2016.
Tesla also reported a first quarter loss of US$282.3m, wider than last year’s loss of US$154.2m. However, Tesla’s revenues for the quarter improved to US$1.15bn from US$939.9m last year.
The company said that its revised and advanced 500,000 total unit build plan – essentially doubling the prior growth plan – means that it is re-evaluating its level of capital expenditures, which are expected to be about 50% higher than the previous guidance of US$1.5bn for 2016.