Tesla is on a serious roll this time. Both deliveries and production set new records in the first quarter of 2017, a promising sign for the Model 3 ramp-up. As the good news piles up, TSLA stock is soaring, making Tesla the most valuable American carmaker.
According to a company press release, deliveries are up 69 percent from a year ago to a quarterly record of 25,000 vehicles – about 13,450 units of Model S and about 11,550 Model X. It’s a heartening recovery from the delays in the previous quarter, which the company blamed on short-term production hurdles from the transition to new Autopilot hardware. It also puts Tesla nicely on track to meet its goal of delivering 47,000 to 50,000 vehicles in the first half of 2017.
Production in the first quarter also hit a quarterly record at 25,418 vehicles.
Tesla’s stock has been on a tear for the past couple of weeks, as it has become plain that Model 3 is going to launch more or less on time. The news that China’s deep-pocketed Tencent Holdings bought a 5 percent stake in the company for $1.78 billion gave TSLA another boost, and the news of record deliveries sent it through the $300 roof to a new all-time high. “Stormy weather in Shortville,” tweeted Elon Musk.
For now at least, Tesla has the largest market capitalization of any US automaker – it surpassed Ford a few days ago, and has now overtopped GM (as of this writing, Tesla is worth about $53 billion, compared with $50 billion for GM).
As the nimble Tesla scurries around their feet, the Dinosaurs of Detroit may be starting to sense the asteroid coming. As Tesla announced its milestone, the legacy automakers announced disappointing monthly sales figures, sending their stock prices down.