- Tesla just posted its second-quarter vehicle production and deliveries report for 2023.
- Deliveries are the closest approximation of sales disclosed by Elon Musk's electric vehicle business.
- The second quarter of 2023 marked the fifth period in a row when Tesla reported a higher level of vehicles produced compared with deliveries.
Here are the key numbers from the electric vehicle maker:
Total deliveries Q2 2023: 466,140
Total production Q2 2023: 479,700
The numbers beat analysts' expectations and indicate that deliveries rose 83% year over year for Tesla after Elon Musk's auto business added manufacturing capacity, and ramped up production at its vehicle assembly plant in Austin, Texas.
Tesla groups deliveries into two categories but does not report individual model or region-specific numbers.
The second quarter of 2023 marked the fifth period in a row when Tesla reported a higher level of vehicles produced compared with deliveries.
During the second quarter of last year, Tesla reported 254,695 deliveries, and in the first quarter of 2023, Tesla reported 422,875 deliveries. During the second quarter of 2022, Tesla produced 258,580 vehicles and last quarter it produced 440,808 vehicles.
Deliveries are a carefully watched number by Tesla shareholders and are the closest approximation of sales disclosed by the company.
Wall Street was expecting Tesla to report deliveries of 445,924 for the period ended June 30, 2023, according to analyst estimates compiled by FactSet-owned StreetAccount.
CEO Musk's electric vehicle maker offered some discounts and other incentives to boost sales of its cars in the U.S. during the quarter, including on its Model 3 entry-level sedan, and more recently, its older Model X SUV and Model S flagship sedan, which represent a small percentage of overall sales for Tesla currently.
The Model 3 and Y are now eligible for a $7,500 tax credit in the U.S. under the Inflation Reduction Act.
About 96% of the deliveries Tesla reported in the second quarter of 2023 were of its Model Y crossover, and Model 3 entry-level sedan in this quarter.
Alexander E. Potter, senior research analyst at Piper Sandler, wrote in a note on June 26, that according to the firm's analysis, "Prices have been stable," for Tesla during the second quarter on balance. The company's steep discounts in and beyond China in the first quarter sparked cries of a "price war" in the electric vehicle market. Potter cautioned that "Price cuts in Q3, if any, could reignite concern re: margins," for investors.
Tesla currently operates vehicle assembly plants in Fremont, California, Austin, Texas, and overseas in Shanghai and Brandenburg, Germany (outside of Berlin). The company also makes the Semi, a heavy-duty electric truck, at its battery plant in Sparks, Nevada. Deliveries of the Semi began in December 2022 but Tesla still isn't producing the trucks in high volumes.
In March, Musk announced that Tesla plans to build a new factory near Monterrey, Mexico, a day's drive from its Austin factory. After meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New York in June, Musk said Tesla was also looking to invest in India "as soon as humanly possible," too.
The company is expected to begin selling a partly revamped version of the Model 3 in North America this year. At an annual shareholder meeting in May, Musk also said Tesla will deliver its first Cybertruck pickups in 2023 and is developing a new kind of drive unit and other technology that should allow it to deliver a more affordable electric vehicle in the future.
Anticipation for newer and more affordable models could continue to put pressure on sales, along with rising competition, especially in China.
Musk, who is also executive chairman and CTO of Twitter and CEO of SpaceX, wrote in a tweet ahead of the second-quarter deliveries report: "Please advise people to be wary of margin loans. Tesla has always been a high variability stock, often with no obvious rhyme or reason. We are confident about long-term value creation, but cannot control the manic-depressive nature of the stock market."
Tesla shares closed at $261.77 on Friday ahead of the second-quarter deliveries report. The company said, in a statement, it will post financial results for the second quarter after the market close on July 19, 2023.
— CNBC's Ashley Capoot contributed reporting.