Tesla just has to be different. While every other major automaker regularly reports US monthly sales, Tesla has never done so. While this is frustrating for those who cover the EV scene, the company may have valid reasons for its reticence.
For EVs, which sell in comparatively small numbers, monthly figures probably have more to do with production schedules and inventory issues than with fluctuations in demand, and that may be even more applicable to Tesla, which delivers cars some time after they are ordered, and periodically shifts production among different markets. Elon Musk has said that the media would read too much into monthly delivery figures, and he’s probably right.
Until now, Tesla has generally reported sales data only in quarterly earnings reports. However, the company has announced that from now on, it will provide quarterly sales numbers within three days of the close of each quarter.
Global deliveries were 10,030 for January through March 2015 (Tesla has declined to break down sales by country). “This was a new company record for the most cars delivered in a quarter and represents a 55 percent increase over Q1 last year,” said the company in its announcement.
Given Tesla’s ongoing work on increasing production capacity, and assuming a boost when Model X hits the streets in the fall, this figure seems to put the company on track to hit its goal of delivering 55,000 vehicles this year.
The EV press welcomed the news, but the company felt compelled to warn us to use the new information responsibly: “This is only one measure of our financial performance and should not be relied on as an indicator of our quarterly financial results, which depend on a variety of factors, including the cost of sales, foreign exchange movements and mix of directly leased vehicles.”