Tesla Deliveries Rise to 11,580 in Quarter as Musk Projected

  • Volume represents 49% increase from year earlier period
  • Automaker handed over first Model X SUVs earlier this week

Tesla Motors Inc. said it delivered 11,580 vehicles in the third quarter, meeting its target after Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk handed over the first Model X sport utility vehicles just before the end of the period.

The total, a preliminary number subject to change when the electric-car maker posts earnings for the quarter, rose 49 percent from a year earlier. Tesla, which provided the figure Friday in a filing, had forecast in August that deliveries for the three months ended Sept. 30 would be about the same as the 11,532 in the second quarter.

Tesla now must accelerate deliveries to meet the low end of its full-year target of at least 50,000 vehicles. The nine-month total of 33,157 means the Palo Alto, California-based company needs to deliver at least 16,843 in the last three months to meet its goal. The automaker now has two all-electric vehicles in production: the Model S sedan and the Model X.

The Model X debut initially was planned for 2013, after being revealed as a concept the previous year. Musk has been candid about the challenges of making the Model X with so many complex features, including “falcon-wing” doors that open vertically, independently operable second-row seats and a panoramic front windshield. All were difficult to engineer and are dependent, in part, on several components and suppliers.

On Sept. 29, Musk handed over just six Model Xs to owners. He got the first, venture capitalist and Tesla board member Steve Jurvetson got the second. People familiar with the matter said the fourth went to Google co-founder Sergey Brin.

Tesla saw a big increase in orders after the event, Musk told reporters and investors Friday in New York.

“We worried there might be some cannibalization” of Model S demand by Model X buyers, he said at a SolarCity Corp. event. “But they probably went to the website and saw there’s a one-year wait” for the SUV and ordered the sedan instead.

Tesla shares fell less than 1 percent in extended trading after gaining 3.2 percent to $247.57 at the close in New York.

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