Tesla’s performance at the Shanghai plant is key to Tesla’s ability to meet its target of delivering 360,000 electric vehicles this year. Tesla reported third-quarter 2019 revenue of $6.303 billion on Thursday, down 9 percent from $6.824 billion a year earlier. Net income attributable to common shareholders was $143 million, down 54% from $311 million in the same period last year.
In the third quarter, Tesla surprised Wall Street analysts with its earnings. But even more impressively, Tesla has completed construction of its Gigafactory plant in Shanghai, China, in just 168 working days. Tesla’s shares rose 20 percent at one point, spurred by the good news.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk said on a earnings conference call that the company’s goal this year is still to deliver 360,000 electric vehicles by the end of the year. Tesla announced earlier this month that it had delivered 255,200 electric vehicles in the first three quarters of this year. That means Tesla will have to deliver a record 105,000 electric cars in the final three months of the year.
In response, some analysts said the Chinese plant is crucial to Tesla’s ability to meet its sales targets for this year and its future success. China is one of the world’s most friendly countries for electric vehicles in terms of policy regulation, the report said.
At present, Tesla’s development momentum in China’s electric vehicle market is growing. Even before the Shanghai plant opened, import data from Tesla China showed that imports of electric cars rose 168 per cent year-on-year, thanks in large part to the Model 3. In August alone, China imported more than 3,700 Tesla electric cars, up 468 per cent year-on-year.
On Friday, Tesla officially announced that the Chinese-made Model 3 Standard Battery Extension is officially open for bookings, starting at 355,800 yuan. Tesla said in April that it could produce at least 1,000 Model 3s a week by the end of the year. But there are also media reports that the Shanghai plant could produce about 3,000 Model 3s a week by the end of the year.
Tesla’s electric cars sold 10,542 vehicles in China in the third quarter ended Sept. 30, more than double the number of vehicles sold in the year, according to Research firm LMC Automotive.