Having shot for the moon with its goal to deliver 500,000 vehicles in 2020, Tesla nearly stuck the landing, missing its target by just 450 cars. According to its latest update on quarterly production and deliveries, the newly-minted S&P 500 company delivered 499,550 vehicles in 2020, up from 367,500 a year earlier. Meanwhile production exceeded half a million vehicles for the first time after Tesla built a record number of 180,000 cars in the fourth quarter alone.
When the first Model 3 rolled of the assembly line in July 2017, Tesla had delivered just 183,000 cars in the preceding five years – a number that some of the larger car manufacturers in the world match in a week. The affordable Model 3, marketed as the first mass-market Tesla, was supposed to change that and bring Tesla one step closer to reaching its goal of “accelerating the advent of sustainable transport by bringing compelling mass market electric cars to market”.
And while it took the company nearly three years to make good on its original promise of offering a version of the Model 3 for as little as $35,000, the production ramp-up following the Model 3’s launch in 2017 has been quite impressive.
Despite the pandemic's impact on supply and production in the United States and abroad, Tesla had reaffirmed its 500,000 delivery goal in October. "While achieving this goal has become more difficult, delivering half a million vehicles in 2020 remains our target," the company wrote at the time.