Tesla is juggling a number of different resource-heavy goals, including the integration of Solar City, the launch of solar roofs, the gigafactory ramp, development of the autonomous driving system (in which Tesla recently replaced its head of AI and Autopilot), and ramping its manufacturing capacity. Most importantly, the company plans to launch its next car, the Model 3, in 2017. As a result of all of the balls in the air, and Tesla’s small margin for error given its vertical integration, many analysts do not expect the company to hit all of its targets by their stated timeline.
The Model 3 Launch
At the same time, the stock is up 79% over the last six months as investors have turned optimistic on a number of these goals, including the important Model 3 launch. Tesla has stated that they expect to start production on the Model 3 by July and to achieve 5,000 units produced per week at some point this year, but did not give guidance on exactly when this would occur. As a result, there is some uncertainty on where consensus is for Model 3 production and deliveries in 2017.
Visible Alpha’s data provides some color on where expectations might be. Currently, analysts on average are modeling 14,000 Model 3 units sales recognized in 2017 and 151,000 in 2018, with units ramping up significantly each quarter. Note that automobile units recognized as revenue is a smaller, more conservative number than cars delivered and cars produced.
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Looking at all units, analysts expect Tesla to sell (and fully recognize) 111,000 units in 2017 and 257,000 units in 2018. Note that this compares to Tesla’s stated goal of 500,000 units produced by 2018.