Tesla delivered 90,650 vehicles in second quarter, a smaller-than-expected decline

Tesla said Thursday that it delivered 90,650 vehicles in the second quarter, a 4.8% decline from the same period last year prompted by challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic that included suspending production for weeks at its main U.S. factory.

Tesla still managed to beat expectations despite the headwinds.

The vast majority of deliveries — some 80,050 — were Model 3 and Model Y vehicles. The remaining 10,600 were its more expensive Model S and Model X vehicles. Tesla doesn’t provide breakdowns of each model separately nor does it give information about regional deliveries.

Analysts, who had anticipated lower numbers due to the COVID-19 pandemic, had varying forecasts with some predicting as few as 39,000 deliveries and as many as 83,000. A consensus of analysts surveyed by FactSet expected Tesla to deliver 72,000 vehicles in the second quarter.

The results pushed shares up nearly 9% in pre-market trading $1,218.21 Thursday morning.

Here’s a quick breakdown:

  • Tesla delivered 90,650 vehicles in Q2 compared to 88,400 in Q1 and 95,200 in Q2 2019)
  • Tesla produced 82,272 vehicles in Q2 compared to 103,000 in Q1 and 87,048 in Q2 2019)

In the weeks leading up to the end of the second quarter, new sales goals were placed on employees, according to several sources who work for the company. Tesla also reduced the prices of its vehicles in China and North America. Both strategies aimed to spur demand for its electric vehicles.

The scheme appears to have worked in the second quarter, which could prompt analysts to place loftier expectations on Tesla for the remainder of the year.

Tesla shares popped Wednesday after the market opened and pushed the company’s market capitalization to nearly $208 billion, surpassing Toyota to become the world’s most valuable automaker by market value. The shares rose in part on reports of a companywide email from CEO Elon Musk congratulating employees on reaching its sales and production goals.