The year 2020 looks extremely promising for electric car maker Tesla, which has again achieved another record quarter for deliveries in late 2019 and is now looking to China for further growth, making moves to construct its fourth Gigafactory in Germany, and is even giving its cars a voice.
The final Q4 delivery numbers of 112,000 take annual deliveries to 367,500, and has enabled Tesla to come well within CEO and co-founder Elon Musk’s previous guidance of 360,000-400,000 vehicles, and beat analyst expectations.
According to figures released by the Californian carmaker, 92,550 Model 3 sedans were delivered in Q4 2019, and 19,450 Model S and X.
Even before final delivery numbers were released, Tesla saw stock values surge to above $US400 ($AUD 578.66) prior to the end of December drawing a heraldic – if somewhat cryptic – tweet from Musk (currently calling himself Buff Mage in Twitter) when stock values reached $US420 ($607.59) on December 24.
That number of $US420 relates to the proposed “buy-out” price to take Tesla private, a move contemplated by Musk via Twitter, and which led to an investigation by regulatory authorities.
Whoa … the stock is so high lol
— Buff Mage (@elonmusk) December 23, 2019
Since total 2019 delivery figures were released in the first days of January, the Tesla stock has continued to press skywards, peaking at $US492 ($A711) on January 8. It last traded at $U478 a share, valuing the company at $US83 billion, or $A120 billion.
That’s very positive news for Tesla and its investors, but it is not these signals alone that indicate an even stronger 2020 is more than likely on the cards for the innovative company.
Dancing a jig at the first public delivery event of a China-made Model 3 sedan at the newly opened Shanghai, Musk shared the key position that China would play in Tesla’s goals for future growth.
At Tesla Giga Shanghai NSFW!! pic.twitter.com/1yrPyzJQGZ
— Buff Mage (@elonmusk) January 7, 2020
“We intend to continue making a significant investment, and increasing the investment in China, making the Model 3 and the Model Y and future models in China,” Musk said.
The potential for Tesla in China alone has been noted by investment firm Piper Sandler, which on Thursday noted that it had revised its price target for the EV maker from $US423 to $US553 based on analysis of Chinese registration data.
“If Tesla’s Model 3 market share in the United States can be replicated in China – and if this logic extends also to Model Y – then Tesla’s annual volume in China alone would eventually exceed 650k units,” analyst Alexander Potter said in a note on Thursday.
Musk has previously said that he believes the Model Y will outstrip demand of the Model 3, and has already brought forward production by three months to early 2020, and announced that a further Tesla model would be designed using Chinese talent, for a global market.
“I think something that would be super cool would be to – and so we’re going to do it, we’re going to try to do it – would be to create a China design and engineering center to actually design an original car in China for worldwide consumption,” said Musk.
“I think this will be very exciting. I think China has some of the best art in the world and I think it’s something that would be appreciated on a worldwide basis. I think it should be done, and we’re going to do it.”
In 2020 Tesla will also start construction of – and possibly even complete – the Berlin Gigafactory 4, as Tesla takes all it has learnt from the Shanghai factory construction which took just 10 months from start to finish.
As if this were not enough, expect to see more progress on Full Self Driving, a battery-focussed investor day in February/March and, in most recent news – the ability for Teslas to talk to people, including those trying to damage or steal them.
Bring on 2020.
Teslas will soon talk to people if you want. This is real. pic.twitter.com/8AJdERX5qa
— Buff Mage (@elonmusk) January 12, 2020
For sure!! This will make for some epic robber confusion ????????
— Buff Mage (@elonmusk) January 12, 2020
Bridie Schmidt is associate editor for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018, and has a keen interest in the role that zero-emissions transport has to play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum. Bridie also owns a Tesla Model 3 and has it available for hire on evee.com.au.