By Tina Bellon and Ayanti Bera
The company’s strong shipments despite the US coronavirus epidemic boosted its shares in the retail market by about 15%.
The company’s production and delivery were not affected by the coronavirus outbreak in the first three months of the year, as Tesla only began temporarily suspending production at its bay vehicle plant from San Francisco until March 24.
Tesla did not address the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on Thursday.
The automaker said production of the Model Y started in January and deliveries started in March, well ahead of schedule.
Webush analyst Daniel Ives described childbirth as “better than expected in a COVID-19 environment”, referring to the potentially fatal respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus.
“It appears that production and demand in China are starting to rebound and should be a key growth driver in the next few quarters, although clear challenges remain in the months to come,” he added.
Demand for Model Y is expected to be higher than for all other Tesla models combined, said general manager Elon Musk in the past. The Y model has a strong demand for SUVs and is much cheaper than the high-end X model.
But the shutdown related to the coronavirus in its California plant is likely to affect production of the Model Y in the future.
He also said his Shanghai plant in China continued to reach record production levels, despite major setbacks.
The company delivered 88,400 vehicles in the first quarter, including 76,200 models 3 and Y and 12,200 models S and X.
(Report by Ayanti Bera in Bengaluru and Tina Bellon in New York; Edited by Sriraj Kalluvila and Jonathan Oatis)