Tesla almost hits 500,000 deliveries in 2020 despite pandemic

Tesla just missed out on its target to exceed 500,000 deliveries for 2020, despite the massive global disruption caused by the pandemic.

According to data published on the American EV maker’s investor relations site, a total of 180,570 cars were delivered in the fourth quarter of last year.

Deliveries in total for 2020 were 499,550 – just 450 short of the target. Tesla claimed it produced 509,737 cars in the year.

The figure is another substantial improvement on the previous year for the firm, which reported approximately 367,500 deliveries in 2019 – itself a 50% improvement on 2018.

Last January, Tesla predicted that it would “comfortably exceed” the half a million sales mark for the year. However, that was prior to the outbreak of Covid-19, which caused factory shutdowns across the industry – something that Tesla boss Elon Musk fought against in California.

The figure comes after a remarkable share price rise of more than 700% for the EV maker throughout 2020.

Musk, who ends the year as the world’s second-richest person, said in a Tweet that he was “so proud of the Tesla team” for hitting the milestone, while admitting that he thought Tesla had “optimistically” a 10% chance of survival at the start of the company.

It’s important to note, however, that 500,000 deliveries is still relatively small-fry when compared to the world’s largest car makers. Volkswagen, for example, delivered nearly 11 million vehicles in 2019, while even Subaru managed to build nearly 800,000 cars in 2019.

Lawrence Allan

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