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Irina Slav

Irina Slav

Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.

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What Is Tesla Hiding From Wall Street?

Tesla is making analysts’ lives interesting by keeping its cards close to its chest when it comes to the Model 3—the first affordable Tesla that should turn the company into a mainstream automaker. With little information to go on, analyst forecasts about Model 3 deliveries in the fourth quarter differ wildly.

A poll among nine analysts conducted by Bloomberg came up with an average estimate of 2,917 deliveries, but that doesn’t really tell anyone anything. Some analysts forecast that Model 3 sales in Q4 were four times higher than the sales made in the prior quarter, and others see the increase at 27 times. The key figure will be the one for December.

EV sales figures from InsideEVs, which tracks all electric vehicle sales in the United States on a monthly basis, reveal that from the day Tesla started selling the Model 3 in July until the end of November, it sold 712 cars of the model.

As modest as this sounds, the figures show a substantial increase month over month, from just 30 Model 3s sold in July to 115 delivered in September, and 345 in November. That’s a significant increase, but it still lags behind pre-orders for the affordable Tesla. Related: U.S. Shale Can’t Offset Record-Low Oil Discoveries

Pre-orders were through the roof after the company said it was going to launch the Model 3, reaching over half a million by July 2017—a year after the announcement. Yet in the same period, 63,000 were cancelled, Elon Musk said during Tesla’s quarterly conference call in July—a figure he saw as insignificant as it happened over 12 months.

At the time, Musk was still upbeat about Tesla’s ability to ramp up production fast enough to reach 5,000 Model 3s a week by the end of 2017 and 10,000 per week some time in 2018. Later in the year, he revised the production target, saying that the 5,000 Model 3s per week should be hit some time in 2018 instead.

Tesla is due to report on final-quarter 2017 earnings and sales later this week.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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