Tesla was able to avoid a major slump in first-quarter sales despite coronavirus-related closings in China and the US, According to the new figures that the company has just published. Other automakers reported big sales declines earlier this week when the quarter came to an end, though losses are expected to be even more brutal in the second quarter as more of the world stay home in an effort. for suppressing the spread of the new coronavirus.
Tesla delivered 88,400 vehicles in the first quarter of 2020, according to the statement. That’s lower than its best-selling quarter in late 2019, where Tesla delivered around 112,000 vehicles. But it’s not as low as the 63,000 the company shipped a year ago in the first quarter of 2019, and it beats most Wall Street analyst estimates, as well as some of Tesla’s biggest supporters.
Production did not decrease either, despite the stops. Tesla says it has manufactured 102,672 cars so far this year, the second-largest in a financial quarter for the company. Overall, it was the company’s best first quarter in terms of production and sales figures.
Tesla partially attributed the higher-than-expected numbers to the “record production levels” of the new Gigafactory in Shanghai, China. This was the first full quarter that the new factory was operational, although it closed for approximately two weeks in February in compliance with a government order related to the coronavirus, which Tesla said was one of a series of “significant setbacks” ” However, it is unclear exactly how much boost it received, as Tesla does not separate sales and production figures by region.
Tesla has continued to make deliveries in the US. USA Although it closed production at its Fremont, California factory, and also began delivering Model Y, its fifth electric vehicle, this quarter as well. The company is coming off its best year; Tesla sold more cars in 2019 than the previous two years combined, largely thanks to the strength of the Model 3, which began shipping to Europe and China earlier this year.
CEO Elon Musk had warned since the middle of last year that the start of 2020 would be “tough” for Tesla, long before anyone knew that the world would be fighting a pandemic. During a call with analysts in July 2019, Musk said, “Q1  will be difficult. Q2 won’t be that bad, but still difficult. “After that, he said, he expected the third and fourth quarters of 2020 to be” incredible.”
He and Tesla’s chief financial officer have both warned that the company’s sales tend to decline at the beginning of each year due to “seasonality” in the market, but that they recover in the spring. The company saw some of this impact last year when it suffered one of its worst financial losses in history in those 63,000 deliveries. But that drop in delivery was also the result of the company encountering logistical nightmares when it began shipping Model 3 to Europe and China for the first time.