Tesla production and deliveries down in Q3 2023 after factory upgrades

Tesla has published their production and delivery figures for Q3 2023, and both figures are down from the previous record-setting quarter. If you have been following Tesla this decline was foreshadowed by CEO Elon Musk at the Q2 2023 earnings call, where he said the Gigafactories would experience some downtime over the summer for upgrades.

Tesla Q3 2023 Production

Tesla’s production for the quarter dipped to 430,488 units across its four vehicle Gigafactories. This was down from the 479,700 it built in the second quarter of the year, a 10.2% decline. However, despite the dip it is still a 17.6% increase from a year ago when in Q2 2022 the automaker produced 365,923 cars.

As expected the majority were Model 3 and Model Y vehicles, with 416,800 built at Fremont, Giga Texas, Giga Berlin, and Giga Shanghai. This is again a big jump over the same quarter last year of 345,988 Model 3/Y, showing the impact of the production ramp at Giga Texas and Giga Berlin and continued optimization at Fremont and Giga Shanghai.

Unlike the last few quarters, production of the Model S and Model X in Fremont also declined, down to 13,688 from the 19,489 units built in Q2.

Tesla Q3 2023 Deliveries

From July to September Tesla was able to deliver 435,059 new cars around the world. This metric was also down, but less so, dropping 6.6% from the 466,140 cars delivered in Q2, but again a substantial 26.5% increase from the 343,830 cars delivered a year ago. This was lower than analyst estimates, which had pegged Tesla for around 455,000 to 457,000 deliveries.

With Q3 now under their belts, Tesla has delivered 1,324,074. That leaves them 475,926 cars off their 1.8 million target they set at the beginning of the year, a very achievable figure which they reiterated in today’s press release.

Why did Tesla’s Q2 2023 figures drop?

Seeing Tesla’s production and deliveries drop quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) is not something we are used to seeing. However as we noted, it was not unexpected. During the Q2 2023 earnings call Musk warned this would happen, saying “Q3 production will be a little bit down because we’ve got summer shutdowns to – for a lot of factory upgrades.” This was echoed by now ex-CFO Zachary Kirkhorn, who said “I want to reiterate Elon’s comments on Q3 volumes driven by planned downtimes for factory upgrades. These upgrades will also carry some amount of factory idle cost. However, we are working to minimize as much as possible.”

Perhaps the most notable shutdown was to Giga Texas, which was out of action for close to a month to upgrade the Model Y production line and get the Cybertruck line into production ready status. The factory only restarted production last week, and based on recent drone flyovers Model Ys are already rolling out of the factory by the hundreds, and possibly soon in at least one new colour.

Giga Shanghai also experienced some downtime to accommodate changes to the Model 3 production line for Project Highland. Crews at Giga Shanghai have hit the ground running after the shutdown with an impressive number of new Model 3s coming out of the factory and being prepped for export.

Tesla said it will post its Q3 2023 financial results after markets close on Wednesday, October 18, 2023.

Here’s what Tesla had to say on the Q3 2023 production and delivery figures.

“In the third quarter, we produced over 430,000 vehicles and delivered over 435,000 vehicles. A sequential decline in volumes was caused by planned downtimes for factory upgrades, as discussed on the most recent earnings call. Our 2023 volume target of around 1.8 million vehicles remains unchanged.”

Tesla (TSLA) is up 1% in morning trading following the announcementtsla oct 2 2023.

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