Enlarge /. The Tesla factory is an automobile factory in Fremont, California, and is the main manufacturing facility for Tesla Motors. The plant was formerly known as New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc. (NUMMI), a joint venture between General Motors and Toyota. Tesla produces all electric cars.
Tesla produced 102,672 vehicles in the first quarter of 2020 and delivered 88,400 vehicles to customers, the company announced to investors on Thursday. Although the number of deliveries fell compared to the previous quarter, the overall results were better than analysts had expected, with the result that the Tesla share gained more than 10 percent in after-hours trading.
The drop in deliveries is not surprising. December 31, 2019 was the deadline for Tesla customers to receive a tax credit for federal electric vehicles. Customers thinking about buying a Tesla car had a strong incentive to do so before the end of the year. Tesla saw a similar decrease in deliveries between Q4 2018 and Q1 2019. This was partly due to an earlier step in the one-year expiry of the tax credit.
In particular, Tesla's latest results are a significant increase over the results of the previous year. The company produced 77,100 vehicles in the first quarter of 2019 and delivered 63,000. The growth partially reflects the improved productivity at Tesla's flagship factory in Fremont, California. It also represents Tesla's new manufacturing facility in Shanghai, which started operations in late 2019.
"Despite significant setbacks, our Shanghai plant continued to achieve record production levels," Tesla said in its Thursday press release.
The results are particularly impressive against the background of the ongoing coronavirus crisis. Ford, who also announced first quarter sales today, blamed the corona virus for a 12 percent year-over-year drop in sales. The economic uncertainty surrounding the corona virus has probably prevented some people from buying Tesla vehicles in March. Nevertheless, Tesla deliveries for the quarter increased 40 percent year over year.
The strong production figures also reflect Musk's persistent insistence on keeping Tesla's Fremont factory up and running despite the economic downturn. Tesla ran its Fremont plant for a week after district officials ordered all nonessential companies to be closed. On March 23, about a week before the end of the quarter, he finally closed the factory.