By on January 4, 2017

tesla-model-s-

2016 wasn’t just a disappointing year for celebrities.

After stating that it would place between 80,000 and 90,000 vehicles in the hands of adoring customers before year’s end, Tesla failed to clear the delivery bar it had set for itself. While production numbers crossed the threshold, 2016 deliveries fell short, numbering only 76,230.

Still, the electric automaker — which has set much loftier production goals for the near future — doesn’t seem too concerned.

In a press release, Tesla claimed that the lower-than-expected delivery number could be explained — at least in part — by the methodology surrounding its sales tallies.

“Our Q4 delivery count should be viewed as slightly conservative, as we only count a car as delivered if it is transferred to the customer and all paperwork is correct,” the company stated. “In total, about 2,750 vehicles missed being counted as deliveries in Q4 either due to last-minute delays in transport or because the customer was unable to physically take delivery.”

On paper, deliveries in the last quarter numbered 22,200 — lower than Q3’s 24,500 vehicles. Overall production was 24,882 vehicles in Q4 and 83,922 for the year. However, Tesla claims that demand remains strong, with record orders for the Model S and Model X recorded over the last three months. Interestingly, the Model X SUV’s share of the production pie grew compared to its sedan stablemate, perhaps proving that the utility vehicle craze transcends all propulsion types.

With the much-anticipated Model 3 scheduled to begin production at the end of this year, Tesla aims to hit a rate of 500,000 vehicles per year in 2018.

[Image: Tesla Motors]

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47 Comments on “Missed It By That Much: Tesla Falls Short of Its 2016 Goal...”


  • avatar
    FlyinGato@youtube

    Tesla needs to finally come out with the more affordable model to help their cause. What they really need to do is invent a better battery.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      A better battery? Do we really need much more than 300 miles of range? A new charging standard that will be hitting the market soon allows about 200 miles range to get loaded in 15 minutes. Maybe lower cost production techniques and materials, but I think charging times and capacity are at a good point.

      Personally, based on 42k miles of actual EV ownership and driving, I’d never see a public charger even with a 200 mile range car. Even now, I can perform most errands and only drop one bar of my 12 bar range gauge.

      • 0 avatar
        Kendahl

        Even 100 miles range under worst conditions is adequate. The problem is recharging time. Where I live, the interstate speed limit is 75 mph. Running between 75 and 80 mph, I expect to average 70 mph when stops are included. That’s mathematically feasible with a 15 minute recharge every 200 miles.

      • 0 avatar
        FlyinGato@youtube

        The fact that I would have to wait at least an hour to get my battery charged in a Tesla, where I can go to a gas station and in 5 minutes get enough gas to last 400 miles, is THE problem with electric cars.

        • 0 avatar
          orenwolf

          While it certainly takes longer to charge a battery, how often do you think you’d need to recharge (or gas up) if your vehicle left your home, every day, full?

          In that scenario, literally, the only time I’d ever need to ‘visit a refuelling station” would be road trips exceeding 150km or so each way. And I could add 250km more range in 30 minutes at a supercharger while I hit the washroom and grabbed a drink or whatever.

          The reality is, I would spend *far less time* refuelling in a BEV than I do today in my ICE car, because the vast majority of that refueling would happen at home, when I wasn’t even around.

    • 0 avatar
      probert

      They’re presently completing the first stage of the largest battery factory ever built – in fact the largest enclosed structure ever built. This in partnership with Panasonic – no lightweight.

      They’re building a factory in NY to manufacture advanced solar roof tiles, and with the acquisition of Solar City, they have an installation network.

      Their solar battery storage systems are selling very well.

      They’re expanding car manufacturing capabilities in California extensively.

      They will be increasing their work force by at least 4000 skilled manufacturing jobs.

      Impressive – they’ve got it covered.

      • 0 avatar

        Just don’t ask for any employee parking! Heyooo!

        1. “Partner*” with Panasonic (*IIRC Panasonic took on NO risk in helping them build the factory, everything is on Tesla financially when it goes bust).

        2. (Corrupt) New York Manufacturing Plant – Bribes, kickbacks, not employing as many workers as promised, this one has it all!

        3. Their solar battery systems are selling “well” like the Model S/X are selling “well” demand has been driving increasing sales, but Tesla has been using shady tricks such as pulling customers forward from scheduled March sales from 2017 (emails “begging” people to get their cars now to take advantage of 2016 tax credits) 1st and 2nd Q deliveries of their cars will be weak AF.

        4. Expanding production capabilities in California? They can’t expand much further capacity wise. And there was some coverage of their Paint Shop/EPA permits constraining them to way under their 250k vehicle projected production numbers by whatever year they lied about.

        They have nothing covered, and people are waking up that they’ve been lied to constantly by Tesla (especially with the financially stupid merger with Solar City, two sinking ships don’t combine into a SHIELD Helicarrier).

  • avatar
    VoGo

    “Our Q4 delivery count should be viewed as slightly conservative, as we only count a car as delivered if it is transferred to the customer and all paperwork is correct.”

    What a concept: only count a sale once it is received by an actual consumer who pays for it. Detroit: are you listening?

    • 0 avatar
      Corey Lewis

      Whoops FCA sales just fell 34.4%.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      “What a concept: only count a sale once it is received by an actual consumer who pays for it. Detroit: are you listening?”

      why? they sell cars to *dealers.* Money’s already changed hands at that point.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Yeah, I’d love to see direct sales from a manufacturer too.

      Ain’t. Gonna. Happen.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        Let’s be clear on why it doesn’t happen; GM, Ford, etc. don’t want it to happen. They want to hide behind local dealers to shield them from having to dirty their hands with the real humans who actually drive their products on a daily basis.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          All Humans are vermin in the eyes of Morbo!

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          Jesus crisps. Dealer franchise is enshrined into state laws because the dealers got those laws passed. What is it with tesla fans where they think they can revise history to fit their own narrative?

        • 0 avatar
          indi500fan

          As always, follow the money. Auto dealers (like real estate developers and tort attorneys) are a primary funding source for state political campaigns.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            True enough. But if Detroit wanted those rules changed, it would happen. Look at Michigan last year. The original law said that current automkers could not sell direct. Which meant Tesla could sell direct. But GM lobbied the Michigan state legislature to close the ‘loophole’, and Tesla got booted.

            Yes, local dealers contribute to local politicians. No doubt. But if the big automakers wanted to sell direct, they’d find a way. They choose not to.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            why is it always “Detroit Detroit Detroit?” Last I checked Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Subaru, Hyundai, etc. aren’t “Detroit.”

            “But if the big automakers wanted to sell direct, they’d find a way. They choose not to.”

            Ford tried to in 1998, they got slapped down just like Tesla.

            http://insideevs.com/failed-ford-retail-network-15-years-ago-stopped-tesla-today-from-selling-direct-in-texas/

            PROTIP: the history of the automotive industry goes back a lot further than July of 2003.

        • 0 avatar
          tresmonos

          VoGo,
          You couldn’t be further from the truth. Dealers are a huge burden.

          • 0 avatar
            JustPassinThru

            How did the dealer-model come to be? Do you suppose, back in the 1910s, government forced it on the nascent auto companies?

            Or did Ford and GM SET UP those agents, as interested salesmen and company representatives to buyers, to have inventory and to aggressively sell their product, vis-a-vis other brands?

            Have you ever owned a vehicle with no dealer representation? I’m in that spot right now…in the wilds of Montana, with a Suzuki motorcycle and the local dealer having given up the Suzuki franchise. Service, proprietary parts…are all now a 200-mile round trip.

            If the dealer network is costing the company, the company needs to explore what it is they’re doing wrong. It has traditionally been a win/win arrangement, with both benefitting…and the dealer absorbing much of the risk.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            No, retailing is a huge burden, which carmakers chose to offload to dealers.

            Look at Uber. Every town, city, state and municipality across the country had laws protecting the local taxi companies. Uber hired literally hundreds of lobbyists, and they won 99% of those battles. And now, Uber is worth more than any US automaker.

            Big automakers CHOOSE to go to market through dealers.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            the problem isn’t the existence of independent dealer franchises. it’s the fact that the laws in (almost?) every state say that car manufacturers MUST sell their wares through independent dealer franchises.

            in the early days, it was beneficial to license independent dealers instead of spending the money to build your own sales and support network. but what happened is in a lot of smaller cities/towns, the owners of car dealerships were often the wealthiest people in the region. They had enough influence to lobby their state reps/senators to pass laws in their favor barring car companies from selling new vehicles in any other manner.

            this is what stopped “FordDirect” in the late ’90s, and this is what Tesla is fighting now. Ideally these franchise laws would be just out-and-out repealed. a couple of states (e.g. Massachusetts) took the chickens**t way out by modifying their law with an exception for any manufacturer who sells cars meeting a certain set of criteria.

            guess which company was the only one to meet those criteria?

            @VoGo

            “No, retailing is a huge burden, which carmakers chose to offload to dealers.”

            but they didn’t choose to be legally compelled to sell through those dealers. that came later, thanks to buddy system politics at the state level. I’m pretty sure most car companies would like the *option* to sell directly to buyers. And more flexibility in being able to yank bad dealers. The dealer is often the “face” of the car company to the customer, and a s**tty dealer can ruin the company’s reputation.

            “And now, Uber is worth more than any US automaker.”

            that’ll only last until their investors start expecting them to make money.

          • 0 avatar
            Spike_in_Brisbane

            Hey ‘JustPassinThrough’ , is that just a local Montana problem? I own a Kawasaki Concours and there is no local Kwacka dealer but the local Suzuki dealer is happy to service my bike and wherever it is that he sources unique Kawasaki parts from, they arrive overnight or are already ordered if anticipated.
            No problem!

          • 0 avatar
            JustPassinThru

            “is that just a local Montana problem?”

            It’s a problem in any rural area.

            And it’s a problem with Suzuki, which is self-destructing…they’re alienating dealers and their product quality is slipping.

            The V-650 I bought was new…marked down. Unbeknownst to me, the multi-brand dealer marked it down because he was surrendering the Suzuki franchise. He continues with Triumph and Yamaha – and he’s happy to work on Suzukis and still has the TSBs and literature.

            But my machine was the subject of two serious recalls, and a non-dealer cannot do that and be reimbursed.

          • 0 avatar
            -Nate

            Interesting reading about the ‘ orphan ‘ Motocycle service issues .
            .
            Among the other scoots I own are three Russian Ural Motos ~ pretty much non existent or worthless Dealers, I’ve only ever met a small handfull of Moto Mechanics I’d even let check my oil so if you have one of these you’re on your own pretty much .
            .
            Thank the absent gods for the internet ! .
            .
            Plus I’m a Journeyman Mechanic so it’s O.K. .
            .
            Suzuki was always an outlier design wise but most of the guys I know who’ve owned them had reliable service and liked them a lot .
            .
            Using any Moto in ” Gas & Go ” service sans routine maintenance then complaining when it gives trouble, isn’t fair .
            .
            -Nate

  • avatar
    -Nate

    “2016 deliveries fell short, numbering only 76,230.”.
    .
    Shows how much _I_ know ~
    .
    I think this is pretty good and they should be shouting it to the heavens considering all the hurdles .
    .
    300 miles range is _minimum_ .
    .
    Not like I’ll ever buy one even if I could afford it but the So. Cal. roads & Freeways are filling up with them .
    .
    -Nate

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      Musk likes to set very aggressive targets, publicly, and then challenge his employees to meet those goals. It makes for a high performance culture, but also the occasional embarrassment when those lofty goals aren’t met.

      But you’re right: when is the last time a brand new car company sold 80K vehicles in a year?

      • 0 avatar
        -Nate

        ! HEY ! .
        .
        I thought the posting rules were :
        .
        VoGo is only allowed to be negative in outlook =8-) .
        .
        Just jerking your chain, ‘K ?.
        .
        -Nate

      • 0 avatar
        OldManPants

        Once again VoGo rides herd on a T***a post. Once again I’m reminded that he perfectly fits the T-buyer’s socioeconomic profile. I have established both Motive and Opportunity.

        So, VoGo, are now or have you ever been a T***a owner?

        • 0 avatar
          orenwolf

          Once again, OMP ignores a comment, to instead criticize the person writing it.

          Tell me, OMP, are you now, or have you ever lived under a bridge?

          More on-topic:

          @vogo: One of the things I’ve always *disliked* about the auto industry is the lack of ballsy initiatives. For a long time, everything was so firmly wrapped in corporate doublespeak or carefully worded PR that it looked like car manufacturers were never going to try anything truly risky.

          In some ways, FCA has stepped away from that thanks to an outspoken CEO. Tesla is the same. Of course, bold words do not bold action make, but I have no doubt it both fires up their workers, AND customers as a result.

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            I just want to know if he has any skin in the realm he’s so assiduously defending. If not, ’tis passing strange.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            To clarify my relationship with Tesla:
            1. I do not own stock
            2. I do not own a Tesla
            3. I paid $1,000 to get on the list for a Model 3, around #95,000
            4. I am currently looking for a new car, although with no particular sense of urgency. Tesla is on the list, but the current frontrunner is the Volvo S90.

          • 0 avatar
            orenwolf

            For completeness:

            – I, too, am neither employee or stockholder
            – I *do* have a model 3 reservation
            – I just leased a 2016 Mazda6 GT last year, so you can see how soon I am expecting to take model 3 delivery, especially up here in the Great White North. ;)

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            Thanks, VoGo!

            (Do you know how to get orenwolf detached from my ankle?)

          • 0 avatar
            -Nate

            “(Do you know how to get orenwolf detached from my ankle?)”.
            .
            ? Smear porkfat on it ? .
            .
            -Nate

          • 0 avatar
            orenwolf

            Mmm, bacon.

  • avatar
    orenwolf

    Nice to see that 1) *production* met estimates, and 2) sell-through numbers are transparent and actually represent end user deliveries.

    Now, can they hit their targets this year? And will they see a quality drop from their aggressive ramp-up?

    • 0 avatar

      Hard to see a quality drop when they’re already at the bottom of the barrel, demonstrably: door handles, melting vapor barriers in doors, rubbing through interior trim door panels, leaky taillights, glaring gimmick windshields, self-shattering falcon doors, rusting seat mounts, suspension arms, the list goes on and on. Oh, failed drive units on 10k+units! Constantly delivering cars with the same, multiple defects, continuing to this day. Seriously, customers have their own quality assurance checklists and I don’t think any car they’re currently making can pass them! Read the forums!

      • 0 avatar
        OldManPants

        Jeez.. picky, picky.

        Look at what the proto-Christians put up with.. meeting in leaky caves & catacombs, lousy food, cat toy status… did that stop them or their movement?

  • avatar
    Middle-Aged Miata Man

    “In total, about 2,750 vehicles missed being counted as deliveries in Q4 either due to last-minute delays in transport or because the customer was unable to physically take delivery.”

    Don’t get me wrong – 76K annual deliveries is certainly nothing to sneeze at, but… 2,750 missed deliveries in the last quarter? This would be a far more palatable number if it was in the (low) hundreds, not thousands. Shouldn’t there be fewer bugs in the delivery process by now…?

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    I read an estimate somewhere that Tesla’s losses in Q4 will be staggering.

    They’ll need to produce a lot of test-drive Model 3s for customers. I won’t buy mine without driving one.

    And they need to address the question of service support centers. I won’t be eager to drive an hour each way just to have the weatherstripping adjusted.


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