Tesla may be underpromising on its 2021 vehicle delivery guidance: insider

Tesla Model 3
Tesla may not have provided a specific number for its 2021 vehicle delivery guidance, but it appears that the electric car maker is, at least internally, aiming for new records this year. 

Back in the Q4 FY 2020 earnings call, Elon Musk remarked that Tesla would likely be able to “maintain a growth rate in excess of 50% per year for many years to come.” Musk added that he believes Tesla will track “a fair bit above 50%” for 2021, though he also noted that he does not want to commit to a specific number.



A recent rumor from an individual reportedly familiar with the electric car maker’s plans has now suggested that Tesla might be sandbagging its 2021 estimates. Tesla investor Sawyer Merritt, who shared the rumor on Twitter, confirmed with Teslarati that the information came from an insider familiar with the electric car maker’s sales strategy this year. 

According to the insider, Tesla is internally looking to deliver 1 million vehicles in 2021, which should effectively double its already-record-breaking numbers in 2020. This is notably higher than the estimates shared by Elon Musk during the fourth-quarter earnings call. However, it should be noted that Tesla bulls have already been speculating that the company was intentionally sandbagging its 2021 delivery estimates, especially considering the recent developments in facilities like Gigafactory Shanghai and the Fremont Factory. 

Tesla is currently in the process of refining the operations of its Giga Presses in the Fremont Factory. The machines, which manufacture the megacast for the Model Y’s rear underbody, can increase the company’s numbers at the Fremont Factory by making the all-electric crossover’s production simpler. In Shanghai, Tesla is also still only in the first months of the Model Y’s ramp. Tesla is aiming to start operations in Gigafactory Berlin, and perhaps even Giga Texas as well. 



While the recent rumors about Tesla’s internal targets are exciting, the fact that Tesla is sharing conservative estimates for its 2021 delivery guidance is quite admirable, if not a step away from Elon Musk’s typically optimistic targets. Such a thing would be quite beneficial for the electric car maker to a point, after all, especially since Elon Musk’s overly-aggressive timetables have resulted in the company struggling to meet its publicly-stated goals in the past. 

That being said, with all of Tesla’s vehicle production facilities producing EVs this year, the idea of the electric car maker delivering 1 million cars for 2021 does not sound too farfetched at all. 

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