Though Tesla produced 18,345 cars in the second quarter, it only delivered 14,370 to customers. That second number is well below Tesla’s own estimate of 17,000 deliveries for the quarter, a disappointing result. Tesla points out that it has previously committed to releasing delivery numbers within three days of the end of a quarter, which explains why it would release numbers on the Sunday of a holiday weekend. That’s sometimes a time for press releases to be issued when companies want to bury bad news.
Still, there are promising signs for Tesla, which is under extreme pressure to get the launch of its more-affordable Model 3 electric car right when it begins deliveries next year. The company said it ended the quarter producing "just under 2,000 vehicles per week," which would put it on track to deliver around 50,000 vehicles in the second half of the year — that’s roughly equal to the total number of Tesla’s built in all of 2015.
In Q2, Tesla delivered 9,745 Model S and 4,625 Model X vehicles.
Tesla says it should reach production levels of 2,200 vehicles per week in the third quarter and 2,400 vehicles per week in the fourth. Additionally, the company said 5,150 "customer-ordered vehicles" were in transit at the end of the quarter, higher than the company expected and up from 2,615 vehicles in that same state at the end of Q2.
If the company can continue its production ramp (half of its Q2 production occurred in the final month of the quarter), it will be a strong sign to investors that the company is progressing towards to its sales goals. However, even with improved production, the company will likely miss its own goals for total vehicle production in 2016. Tesla previously expected to deliver 80,000-90,000 vehicles this year.
Update July 4, 1:21PM ET: In an email to The Verge, Tesla pointed out that it has previously committed to releasing delivery numbers within three days of the end of a quarter and says the timing of the release had nothing to do with missing its own delivery estimates.