Tesla Inc. (TSLA) said late Wednesday it delivered 29,870 vehicles in the fourth quarter, of which 1,550 were Model 3 sedans, 15,200 were Model S sedans, and 13,120 were Model X SUVs. More than 800 Model 3s were in transit, the company said. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected 30,000 vehicles delivered. Tesla said it made "major progress addressing Model 3 production bottlenecks," with production rate increasing "significantly" toward the end of the quarter. "In the last seven working days of the quarter, we made 793 Model 3's, and in the last few days, we hit a production rate on each of our manufacturing lines that extrapolates to over 1,000 Model 3's per week," the company said in a statement. "As a result of the significant growth in our production rate, we made as many Model 3's since December 9th as we did in the more than four months of Model 3 production up to that point." Tesla said it expects "a slightly more gradual ramp through Q1," likely ending the quarter a weekly rate of about 2,500 Model 3 vehicles. The company plans to achieve the 5,000-a-week production target by the end of second quarter, rather than first quarter as the company had previously expected. Tesla said the fourth quarter was its best yet for combined Model S and Model X deliveries, representing a 27% increase over the fourth quarter of 2016 and a 9% increase over the third quarter, a previous best. The company said it delivered 101,312 Model S and Model X in 2017, a 33% increase over 2016. Shares fell 2% in late trading after ending the regular session down 1%.
-Claudia Assis; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com
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