A record quarter for Tesla isn’t as speedy as it seems.
Tesla announced on Saturday morning that it delivered 180,570 cars world-wide in the fourth quarter, setting a new company record. That brings the 2020 total just shy of 500,000, in line with the company’s most recent guidance. The company also said it would soon begin to deliver its China-produced Model Y crossover vehicle to customers.
While hitting guidance is certainly good news, it hardly represents a towering operational feat that should dazzle Wall Street. For starters, meeting operational forecasts is a routine event for most members of the S&P 500, to which Tesla was added last month.
And investors shouldn’t forget that Chief Executive Elon Musk once claimed in 2016 that Tesla would sell a million cars by 2020. Since he made that claim, Tesla stock has rallied nearly fifteen-fold. Last year also came and went without Mr. Musk’s promise of one million fully autonomous “robotaxis” on the roads by the end of 2020 coming to fruition.