NEW YORK, New York: Surpassing Wall Street estimates, Tesla Inc posted record deliveries from January-March, as demand for its less expensive models soared, offsetting the impact of a global shortage of parts.
The electric carmaker delivered 184,800 vehicles globally during the first quarter, higher than the predicted 177,822 vehicles, according to Refinitiv data.
This also exceeds its previous record of 180,570 achieved last quarter.
"We are encouraged by the strong reception of the Model Y in China and are quickly progressing to full production capacity," Tesla said in a statement, adding, "The new Model S and Model X have also been exceptionally well received ... and we are in the early stages of ramping production."
Late last year, Tesla's Shanghai factory began production of the Model Y in the key market where it already produces Model 3 sedans. Tesla's sales in China in February soared from the previous month, even though China's Lunar New Year holidays, which were in the same month, usually see a drop in demand.
In February, parts shortages forced Tesla to suspend production at its California plant for two days.
"We believe China and Europe were particularly robust this quarter," said Dan Ives, an analyst at Wedbush. He predicted that Tesla's annual sales would exceed 850,000 vehicles this year, fueled by rising demand and the Biden administration's policy of boosting EV sales.
Tesla delivered 182,780 Model 3/Ys in the first quarter, up 13 percent from the previous quarter. However, deliveries of the costlier S/Xs slumped from 18,920 to 2,020 during the period, ahead of model refreshes.
Gerber Kawasaki CEO Ross Gerber said Tesla might see weaker margins in the first quarter due to sales declines of the more profitable cars, but he forecast "blowout" results for the second quarter, as reported by Reuters.
Other automakers, such as General Motors, on Thursday reported a turnaround in first-quarter U.S. sales from last year's slump due to the coronavirus, but volumes were capped by a global chip scarcity that forced many companies to cut production.
Tesla has become the most valuable auto company in the world, despite production that is a fraction of rivals such as Toyota, Volkswagen and GM.