Tesla on Saturday reported better-than-expected 2020 vehicle deliveries, driven by a steady rise in electric vehicle adoption, but narrowly missed its ambitious full-year goal during a punishing year for the global auto industry.
The company delivered 499,550 vehicles during 2020, above Wall Street estimated of 481,261 vehicles, according to Refinitiv data – but 450 units shy of CEO Elon Musk’s target.
In a tweet, Musk said: “Proud of the Tesla team for achieving this major milestone. At the start of Tesla, I thought we had (optimistically) a 10 percent chance of surviving at all,”.
Congratulations from supporters and bullish investors poured in on Twitter, lauding the vehicle maker for its stellar year, which had defied wider auto industry trends of slumping sales, quarterly losses and global supply chain disruptions.
The company’s share price has risen more than 700% over the last year, Tesla has reported five consecutive quarterly profits and in December it was included in the S&P 500 index.
Some online investors criticised the company for saying it had achieved its guidance.
Tesla at the start of 2020 said it would “comfortably exceed 500,000 units” fort he year, a target it has left unchanged despite the pandemic. According to chief financial officer Zachary Kirkhorn Tesla was “aiming to achieve (its) original 2020 guidance.”
Tesla has pinned its hopes on new markets such as Europe and Asia, with competition intensifying in its home turf as legacy automakers double down on their investments in the booming EV space.