Elon Musk’s Tesla Made Record Deliveries In 2020 Despite Global Car Demand Slump

(Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

Andrew Jose Contributor
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Tesla announced Saturday that it sold a record 499,550 vehicles worldwide in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, falling just 450 units behind its target of selling half a million cars that year.

Tesla manufactured 509,737 cars — 54,805 units of Model S/X and 454,932 of Model 3/Y — in 2020, approximately 98% of which were sold, according to a press release from the company. The 499,550 vehicles sold included 442,511 units of Model 3/Y and 57,039 of S/X, the release stated. 

At 2020’s start, Tesla stated it would “comfortably exceed 500,000 units” for the year, a target it didn’t revise despite the pandemic, Reuters reported. In October, Chief Financial Officer Zachary Kirkhorn announced Tesla was “aiming to achieve (its) original 2020 guidance.”

Though Tesla fell short of attaining its ambitious goal of delivering 500,000 vehicles in 2020 by about 0.09%, it exceeded analysts’ expectation of 493,000 deliveries for the year by 6,500 units, or around 1.33%, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The company, in 2020, exceeded its 2019 sales count of approximately 367,500 units, according to the WSJ, which marked 35.9% positive growth.

CEO Elon Musk welcomed the numbers as a “major milestone” on Twitter, saying that during Tesla’s early days, he wasn’t sure the company would make it. (RELATED: Elon Musk Joins Mass California Exodus, Moves To Texas)

Despite a decline in global demand for new cars during the COVID-19 pandemic, Tesla’s numbers reached their final levels thanks to a steady rise in electric vehicle adoption, according to Reuters, along the demand for Tesla vehicles in China, WSJ reported.

Tesla’s sales in China, ever since it began delivering cars from its new Shanghai plant in late 2019, helped counteract manufacturing slowdowns in the U.S., where Tesla had to shut its Fremont, California plant for multiple weeks starting March 2020 to comply with local COVID-19 safety restrictions, WSJ reported.

Tesla had also seen its stock rise in value by more than 700% in 2020, according to Reuters.

In the forthcoming months, Tesla faces the “difficult” challenge of introducing new vehicle models and opening additional plants in Germany and Texas, as part of Musk’s expansion plans, WSJ said.