Tesla’s September Delivery Numbers Keep Getting Better

Tesla’s September Delivery Numbers Keep Getting Better

Tesla’s September quarter finished with a familiar drumbeat, which is that based on the EV opportunity alone, Tesla is a true growth story. This dynamic is worth calling out because the company’s long-term growth story transcends EVs and will eventually include more energy capture, storage, FSD, HVAC, and maybe even VTOL and robots.

For the September quarter, Tesla delivered 241k vehicles, 10% ahead of consensus estimates and another record for the company. This equates to a growth step down to 73% y/y from 122% y/y in June, due to a 40% more difficult comp. In plain English, something bigger is going on, which we believe is the combination of consumer readiness for EVs, along with Tesla’s value proposition.

The chart below illustrates Tesla’s delivery growth over the past eight quarters, with 23% delivery growth in Dec-19 climbing to 73% in the most recent quarter. Due to pandemic shutdowns, results in the Jun-20 and Jun-21 quarters should be taken in context.

Doubling the lead over competitors

Tesla delivery growth of 73% y/y compares to an average of down 27% y/y for GM, Ford, Honda, and Toyota. This 100% delivery gap between Tesla and the rest of big auto is double the 50% average gap over the past year and a half.  All automakers are operating in the same component-constrained environment. While chip shortages dragging on production and inventory is the biggest factor in the drop in sales for traditional automakers, the loss of share to EV makers (mostly Tesla) is no doubt compounding the delivery decline for the broader industry.

December outlook

The comps get progressively more difficult over the next three quarters, which explains why delivery growth will likely slow to 50-55% for the December quarter, which would be in line to slightly ahead of current Street estimates calling for 50% growth.