Thursday, 30 April 2020

Tesla posts profit despite hit from coronavirus

Tesla posts profit despite hit from coronavirus
New York (CNN Business)Tesla shrugged off coronavirus-related problems and posted a profitable first quarter.
The electric car maker earned net income of $16 million, while income excluding special items, such as stock based compensation, came in at $227 million. The company lost money on both those measures in the year-earlier quarters.
Analysts surveyed by Refinitiv had forecast the company would post a narrow loss due to the shutdowns of its factories in California and Shanghai at times during the quarter and a drop in completed vehicle sales compared to the fourth quarter of last year.
    Shares of Tesla (TSLA) jumped 9% in after-hours trading on the report. Shares have now more the doubled since the start of the year, even if they have come down from the all-time high reached in mid-February before coronavirus concerns hit the broader market.
    Still, the company said it couldn't promise that its unexpected profit will continue in the face of disruptions caused by the Covid-19 outbreak.
    "It is difficult to predict how quickly vehicle manufacturing and its global supply chain will return to prior levels," Tesla said in a statement to investors. "Due to the wide range of potential outcomes, near-term guidance of net income and free cash flow would likely be inaccurate."
    Although it did not offer specific guidance, the company did say, "While near term profit guidance is on hold, we believe we will achieve industry leading operating margins and profitability." It said it has the capacity to build 500,000 vehicles this year, even with the production interruptions. Tesla said it had been on course to have its best sales quarter in its history before it had to suspend operations in California because of the outbreak.
    Tesla's numbers impressed experts, even if they warned that the company will have a tougher time in the current period.
    "The first quarter financial numbers suggest the automaker has turned a corner and is making serious headway on its business model," said Karl Brauer, executive publisher at Kelley Blue Book. "As brands go, Tesla's is one of the strongest in the automotive industry. And that kind of brand equity is a company's best defense during economic turmoil. It's likely Tesla will prove more resilient than other automakers in terms of 2020 sales. But 'more resilient' doesn't mean immune, and Tesla's first quarter success story will be difficult to repeat in the coming months."
    The profit marked the first time in the company's history that it posted positive net income in three consecutive quarters. In fact, through the middle of 2018, the company had only posted two profitable quarters in its entire history.
    But this marks the fifth profitable quarter out of the last seven, and it suggests that the upstart electric car maker has turned a corner on its profitability. Last year was the first year it achieved an annual profit when excluding special items. Tesla had said in January, before it was faced with disruptions, that it expected to be profitable on an ongoing basis.
    The company was able to avoid the types of growing pains that produced losses in the past. It said the Model Y, its new lower-priced SUV that it expects will become its best-selling vehicle, has already achieved a gross profit margin in the quarter despite only starting production in January. It's the first time it made a profit on a car in its first quarter on the assembly line.
    Tesla said that gross margins on the Model 3 sedans being built in its Shanghai factory, which only opened in late 2019, are already approaching the margins at the California factory.
    The company did have one bit of bad news, announcing it is pushing back the planned start of production of a semi-tractor that had been set to begin later this year to 2021. It did not give a reason.
    Tesla did not break out the cost of the shutdown of its plants due to coronavirus concerns in its statement to investors. CEO Elon Musk has been critical of many of the steps taken to battle the Covid-19 outbreak. Tuesday night he tweeted "FREE AMERICA NOW."
    During his call with investors Wednesday evening, Musk railed against the government orders shutting down non-essential businesses, particularly in the Bay Area where his Fremont plant is located.
      "We are a bit worried about not being able to resume production in the Bay Area, and that should be identified as a serious risk," he said. He pointed out that Tesla has only two car factories, including the one China, and the one in Fremont makes the overwhelming majority of its cars.
      "While Tesla will weather the storm there are many small companies that will not," Musk said. "Everything people have worked for their whole life is being destroyed in real time. Many suppliers are in super hard times, especially the small ones."

      Tuesday, 28 April 2020

      BMW iX3

      BMW iX3 may have just been revealed online. An Instagram user posted what appears to be images of BMW's production-bound battery-electric crossover SUV sans camouflage.
      The German brand's EV X3 looks good in the leaked images, too, which show off the model's black grille, more aero-friendly front fascia, star-shaped wheels, and blue lower-body trim pieces. Predictably, it looks much like the iX3 concept that BMW unveiled in 2018. Unfortunately, however, it seems the electric X3 variant is nothing but forbidden fruit for North American consumers.
      Back in March, Automotive News reported that BMW had nixed plans to bring the iX3 to the U.S. market. BMW didn't elaborate on its purported decision, but many believe the model's range will fall short of what American consumers prefer (and what competitors offer). The concept iX3 debuted with a range of over 249 miles on the global WLTP cycle, which is typically more liberal than the EPA's scale. The crossover's supposed lack of all-wheel drive at launch likely further limits its desirability here in the States.

      BMW is targeting 25 electrified vehicles in its lineup by 2023. The futuristic-looking BMW iNext electric car will roll out of the automaker's factory in Dingolfing, Germany, starting in 2021. As we recently learned, BMW is also preparing a production-bound iteration of its i4 concept electric sedan. While we Yanks might miss out on the upcoming iX3, we certainly expect BMW to send its fair-share of battery-electric vehicles to the United States in the coming years.

      Monday, 27 April 2020

      Tesla News: Car Company Ready To Bring Workers Back To California Factories?

      Tesla News: Car Company Ready To Bring Workers Back To California Factories?
      lectric automaker Tesla is preparing to have some employees return to work next week at its assembly plant in Fremont, California, Bloomberg News reported Saturday. Fremont, located in the San Francisco Bay area, has been under stay-at-home orders since March 16 amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
      Bloomberg News noted that internal Tesla messages had asked some Fremont employees to come in on April 29, several days before San Francisco’s stay-at-home order tentatively lifts on May 3. 
      The Los Angeles Times has reported that San Francisco Mayor London Breed will likely extend the stay-at-home order beyond May 3. After Breed had issued the order in March, the Fremont factory continued to operate but was forced to shut down as it was deemed a “non-essential” business. 
      Tesla leadership has displayed a mixed response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
      CEO Elon Musk mocked the coronavirus in the early stages of the outbreak, calling panic surrounding the disease  “dumb” in a March tweet. Musk has since stepped forward amid the pandemic, sending ventilators to U.S. hospitals, although the move has sparked some controversy.
      The ongoing coronavirus outbreak has disrupted Tesla’s operations in other parts of the world, with China ordering the company’s Shanghai factory to temporarily shut down in January.
      Tesla began producing cars from the Shanghai factory in December, as the company hopes to establish a foothold in China, the world’s largest electric vehicle market.

      Friday, 24 April 2020

      China promises subsidies to boost falling electric car sales

      BEIJING (AP) — China is promising more subsidies to shore up plunging electric car sales amid the coronavirus pandemic but set limits that exclude Tesla’s made-in-China model.
      Subsidies and tax breaks that were due to end this year will be extended by two years in response to “an accumulation of unfavorable factors” including the virus, the Finance Ministry said Thursday.
      Beijing has spent billions of dollars subsidizing electrics in hopes of cleaning up China’s smog-choked cities and taking an early lead in a promising global industry.
      That helped to turn China into the biggest market for electrics, accounting for about half of global sales. But demand sank in mid-2019 after regulators started shifting the burden to automakers by cutting subsidies and imposing minimum sales quotas.
      First-quarter sales plunged more than 50% from a year earlier after China shut down most of its economy to fight the virus.
      Subsidies will be limited to vehicles with a sticker price below 300,000 yuan ($42,500), the Finance Ministry said. That excludes Tesla’s Model 3 made at its factory in Shanghai, which starts at 324,000 yuan ($45,800).
      Tesla is the first wholly foreign-owned automaker venture in China after Beijing repealed rules that required global brands to work through Chinese partners.
      Top-end models from some Chinese competitors are priced above 300,000 yuan but most cost less than that.
      The decision had been widely expected after some cities renewed subsidies this year to support flagging sales.
      The ministry gave no details of amounts to be paid per vehicle.
      The Finance Ministry also said vehicles with “battery switching” technology will be exempt from the price cap. That appears to extend to NIO, a higher-priced brand backed by Chinese investors.

      Thursday, 23 April 2020

      Chinese Electric Vehicle Maker BYD's Profit Slumps After Subsidy Cuts

      Chinese Electric Vehicle Maker BYD's Profit Slumps After Subsidy Cuts
      BEIJING (REUTERS) - Chinese electric vehicle maker BYD Co Ltd  reported on Tuesday a 42% drop in 2019 profit, saying cuts in government subsidies and emissions rules changes had hit demand in the sector.
      BYD, which is backed by U.S. investor Warren Buffett, said its net profit for 2019 totalled 1.61 billion yuan ($227 million), while its revenue dropped 1.78% to 127.74 billion yuan last year.
      China cut subsidies for new energy vehicles (NEV), which include battery electric, plug-in hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, last year, making the final product more costly for carmakers.
      After that NEV sales fell for nine straight months. However, last month China said it would extend subsidies for new energy vehicles and extend NEV's purchase tax exemption for two years.

      The Shenzhen-based car company, which has partnerships with Japan's top automaker Toyota  and German Daimler's partner in China, sold 461,399 vehicles in 2019, down 11.4% from the previous year.

      Wednesday, 22 April 2020

      Oil prices may be at all-time lows, but it's still worth buying an electric car

      For the first time in 34 years, the price of a barrel of oil has dropped to historic lows — below $0 somehow, confusingly — but that shouldn't erode efforts to go electric, especially for any future car purchases.
      Sure, because of coronavirus social-distancing measures in most cities and states, roads are largely empty, cars are parked, most flights are canceled, and the buses and trains that are still running barely have passengers. Even auto insurance companies are recognizing how little we're moving and offering discounts
      Right now, the idea of buying a car may seem strange and unnecessary. But with the average price of gas down to less than $2 per gallon in the U.S., once cities start opening up we'll be back to many of our old ways. We'll revert to driving again, perhaps even more so with lingering fears of coronavirus exposure on public transit and because it'll feel cheap to burn through miles. But air quality improvements from the past month indicate that we need to change. And what if these changes could become long-lasting?
      Geotab, a data and analytics company that tracks vehicles, found that the impact of coronavirus on air pollution was noticeable across North America. Looking at cities before and after March 15, carbon emissions dropped across the board when social distancing started in earnest. In New York City alone, the average emission level was more than halved.  
      Even a slow return to our previous ways of getting around means most of the air quality improvements from the past month will be erased. Reconsidering electric options, even if they're more costly up front, is one way to help maintain some of these short-term gains for the planet.  Electric cars won't erase the lasting damage we've done, but they could lighten our collective output longer term.
      Think about it: Gas prices will eventually go back up, "refueling" a vehicle with electricity offers more price and availability stability, and climate change is still very much a thing. A month of limited global emissions doesn't change that.
      In Milan, Italy, city officials are attempting to retain the environmental benefits of a shutdown city. A plan for reopening now includes more walking and cycling space to reduce car use within city limits.
      The organization Securing America's Future Energy  wrote in an email this week, "this negative price for [oil] is just a momentary event." Instead of relying on volatile, price-fluctuating oil, the U.S. should focus on a diversifying its energy sources. 
      Cruise, a self-driving car company back by General Motors, shared on Earth Day that its fleet of electric self-driving cars in San Francisco now relies entirely on renewable energy for charging. This makes going electric an even cleaner option. Some of that energy is from 12 solar projects at school campuses in Southern California. 
      Then there's this alarming stat, which Cruise cites: Gas-powered cars are six times more polluting than all-electric vehicles.
      Just this week, General Motors announced solar and wind energy programs in Michigan, so in the next few years car factories can use only renewable energy sources to produce (hopefully more electric) cars.
      Ben Prochazka, national director of the electric nonprofit organization Electrification Coalition, said in a phone call this week, "Whether you're a consumer, business, state, or a city, right now an electric vehicle and plugging into the grid gives you the greatest certainty of how much that's going to cost to operate."
      During the coronavirus pandemic, the ability to charge your car cheaply from your own home is also appealing. No more crowded, shared gas station pumps. ChargePoint electric charging network calculated how much charging on its network saved drivers in gas money in 2019. Even with charging costs, electric vehicle owners saved more than $51.6 million compared to gas-powered car owners.
      So while the momentary allure of cheap gas fill-ups can be tempting, we should "strongly look at electric vehicles," Prochazka said. "This is the right time."

      Tuesday, 21 April 2020

      Electric Car Sales In Europe Might Suffer Virus Damage After All

      European auto makers desperately need to at least maintain sales of electric and electrified vehicles to avoid fines, but the coronavirus looks like disrupting that plan and throwing a few more hurdles in the way too, according to a report.
      Mercedes parent Daimler, BMW, Renault and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) at most at risk from EU fines, the report said.
      One of the first casualties of the coronavirus crisis was forecasts of new car sales in Western Europe, which currently now center around a fall of about 20% for all of 2020. Battery-electric sales, although a bit weaker than expected, were likely to hold up relatively strongly, not least because manufacturers were wary of offending against the new European Union rules on carbon dioxide emissions.  
      Not so, said Fitch Ratings in a report. Sales growth of electric and electrified vehicles including plug-in hybrids (PHEV) vehicles is at risk, and European manufacturers might incur heavy fines. Fitch didn’t offer a sales forecast of its own.
      But a couple of weeks ago LMC Automotive cut its 2020 battery electric vehicle (BEV) Europe sales forecast to 625,000, from its previous forecast of 650,000, still 75% up on 2019.  Berlin-based auto analyst Matt Schmidt ( scaled back his Western Europe forecast of 700,000 BEVs to 556,000, which would still be an increase of 58% over 2019, and for a market share of 5%. Schmidt said Western European sales of BEVs rose 56% to 126,000 in the first quarter for a market share of 4.6%, while in March, market share rose to a record 6.5%.
      According to the report, the coronavirus pandemic will disrupt production and delay launches of electric cars, weaken demand, and failure to meet the EU regulations will reflect poorly on manufacturers’ reputations.
      The thin charging infrastructure and higher prices are well known impediments to electric car sales, but the financial crisis generated by the coronavirus shutdown, will inhibit government attempts to improve the charging system, while government subsidies to boost sales of these vehicles will have to be cutback because of overspend on more crucial social measures as unemployment reaches unprecedented highs and economies grind to a halt, the report said. And falling gasoline and diesel prices won’t help electric sales either.
      There are a couple of bright spots. Diesel sales have stabilized at around 30%, while the fact overall sales are falling in Europe means that manufacturers need to sell fewer electric cars to meet their quotas. But the CO2 targets are still tough, and the EU might postpone deadlines, although Fitch doesn’t expect any overall dilution of the targets.   
      The EU Carbon Dioxide (CO2) regime insists sedan and SUV makers raise average fuel efficiency from the equivalent of about 57 miles per U.S. gallon in 2020/2021, up from 41.9 mpg in 2015, and rising again by 15% in 2025, hitting 92 mpg by 2030. That compares with current U.S. draft legislation calling for a 40.5 mpg fleet average by 2030.
      According to a report from investment researcher Jefferies last year, if the auto industry made no progress from 2018 towards meeting the EU’s 2020/21 regulations, it faces fines totalling about $36 billion, twice its estimated profits. The European Car Manufacturers Association has said 2018 CO2 emissions actually rose 1.6%, as sales of diesel-powered vehicles slid, and demand for bigger gas-guzzling SUVs spiked.
      European carmakers are spending huge sums to electrify their vehicles. VW plans to spend $36 billion through 2024 on a family of electric cars right across its mass market brands. But electric car sales forecasts suggest a big shortfall from targets. VW has said by 2025, at least 25% of its global sales will be BEVs. But Morgan Stanley MS expects BEV sales to rise from about 2% globally last year, to only 11% by 2025, which is around where most other forecasters sit. IHS Markit INFO predicts a BEV market share of 14% in Europe for 2025, implying a much lower total for global sales.
      “Among European manufacturers, we believe that Daimler, BMW, Renault and FCA are most at risk given their distance to 2020/2021 targets and reliance on EVs to avoid penalties. However, FCA's agreement with Tesla TSLA to pool vehicle fleets in Europe offsets this risk,” the report said.
      FCA has agreed to pay Tesla hundreds of millions of dollars to allow it to offset CO2 emissions from its cars against Tesla’s, lowering its average figure to a permissible level.
      “Renault's EV sales have been strong since the start of the year, but its PHEVs sales are still lagging. Flexibility in Daimler's and Renault's ratings has increased following their recent downgrades. FCA's ratings also have modest headroom. A moderate increase in expected fines could exert credit pressures, but is unlikely to trigger downgrades by itself,” the report said.
      VW is expected to launch its new electric car, the ID.3, in August, if reported software problems can be solved. If that launch is delayed much past August, European electric car sales for 2020 will be in a sorry state.

      Friday, 10 April 2020

      Tesla Expands Locally Made Line-Up, Blunting Trade War Impact

      Tesla Made a Prototype Ventilator With Car Parts
      BEIJING (REUTERS) - U.S. electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc said on Friday it has started China sales of two more Model 3 variants built at its Shanghai plant, meaning all Model 3 sedans sold in the country are now locally made and not subject to import tax.
      The development comes at the tail end of a Sino-U.S. trade war characterised by tit-for-tat tariffs on goods and services as varied as metals and cars, which bumped up prices of U.S. made goods in China.
      It also comes after Tesla suspended production at its San Francisco Bay Area plant due to the broader impact of the coronavirus, with plans to resume normal operation on May 4.
      Tesla said it aims to start delivering Shanghai-made Long Range Model 3 cars from June this year, priced 339,050 yuan after subsidies.
      The rear-wheel drive variant, with a driving range of over 600 kilometres before needing to be recharged, differs from the imported version which was all-wheel drive and priced 439,900 yuan.
      The locally made Performance Model 3, for which deliveries are slated for the first quarter next year, will be priced 419,800 yuan, the California-based automaker said without specifying the price after subsidies. Imported Performance Model 3 vehicles were priced 509,900 yuan.
      The move contrasts with a previous plan from Tesla's billionaire chief executive, Elon Musk, under which the automaker would only make more affordable versions of the Model 3 sedan at its $2 billion Shanghai factory.
      Tesla sold 10,160 vehicles in China in March, versus 3,900 in February, marking its highest-ever monthly sales in the world's largest auto market, industry data showed.
      Tesla also said it will cut the pay of global vice presidents in China by 30% and that of China-based director-level executives by 20%, to be consistent with operations in the United States. Salaries of other China-based staff are unchanged, it said.

      Thursday, 9 April 2020

      Tesla Will Reportedly Debut a New Model 3 in China With 400-Mile Range

      Tesla has set the standard for electric vehicles in part because of the consistently long range offered by its cars, especially when compared to the competition. And if new reports about a new Model 3 are true, it seems like American EV maker is ready wants to remain a leader in the range wars.
      The Elon Musk-led company is close to debuting a version of its entry-level car that can go 404 miles on a single charge, according to Bloomberg. The more efficient Model 3 is viewed as an attempt by Tesla to fend off competition from Volkswagen AG and BMW in the country.
      The 404-mile Model 3 has significantly more range than the American versions of the vehicle currently on the market. The standard Model 3 has a range of 250 miles, while a more expensive Long Range version can reach 322 miles. The version of the car previously available in China had a range of 280 miles. CNET Roadshow points out that the country, like Europe, uses a different system to determine range than the one used in the US, so it’s unclear exactly how well the car would perform under EPA testing.
      If released, the Chinese-specific Model 3 would be Tesla’s longest-range vehicle. The Model S is the next closest, with a range of 348 miles, though the Long Range Plus edition can go an estimate 391 miles on a single charge. Meanwhile, the Model X mid-size SUV has a range of 351 miles and the Model Y crossover has a range of 316 miles. Of course, the new 404-mile Model 3 could be blown out of the water by the company’s upcoming Roadster, which Tesla has said may have an insane 620-mile range.
      Tesla did not respond to Robb Report‘s request for comment on the new Model 3. If the automaker does move forward with the new edition, it expected to cost 350,000 yuan (or about $50,000). The car will be eligible for rebates from the Chinese government, though, which should boost sales—something Tesla would certainly welcome, as registrations of the marque’s vehicles has fallen for two straight months in the country.
      As for range-anxious drivers in the US, for the moment, it appears that the new Model 3 will only be released in the Chinese market. But if there is a 400-plus-mile Tesla out in the world, we’d bet it would only be a matter of time before the model makes it to our shores.

      Wednesday, 8 April 2020

      Tesla Shows Off Prototype Ventilator For COVID-19 Patients Made Out Of Electric Car Parts

      Tesla Touts A Prototype Ventilator For COVID-19 Patients Made Out Of Electric Car Parts
      The coronavirus crisis has led Elon Musk to jump into the medical device industry, with SpaceX fabricating components for Medtronic MDT ventilators, corporate donations of BiPAP breathing machines that can be modified for use as non-invasive ventilators and promising to use a Tesla TSLA factory to produce ventilators. Now Tesla engineers have designed a prototype ventilator that uses parts adapted from electric vehicles. 
      The carmaker posted a video Sunday featuring a group of engineers, all wearing surgical masks and gloves, showing off their creation built with inhouse automotive parts, rather than with the compressors, pumps and other highly specialized components desperately needed by medical device manufacturers to ramp up ventilator production.
      “We want to use parts that we know really well, that we know the reliability of, and we can go really fast and they are available in volume,” said Joseph Mardall, Tesla’s engineering directory.  “We’ve used a lot of those.”
      The device shown in the video includes a touchscreen display panel, the same used in Model 3 electric sedans, that track intake of oxygen and output of carbon dioxide, a Model 3 infotainment computer system, lithium-ion battery, as well as pumps, compressors, tubes and an oxygen mixing chamber. Given that it’s just a prototype, it’s not clear when or if Tesla will be able to produce the devices in high volume–assuming they are tested and approved for use for COVID-19 patients by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
      Musk’s moves come as General Motors GM and Ford also team up with medical device makers to help them accelerate production, though neither of those automakers has touted their own designs. Instead GM and Ford, like SpaceX, plan to make components at auto parts plants, which companies including Medtronic, Ventec, GE Healthcare and ResMed RMD say is most critical.
      “It’s not a final ventilating manufacturing problem. It’s a parts problem,” ventilator maker Mick Farrell said in an April 1 interview on CNBC. “When we get genuine offers from automotive companies, aerospace companies and defense companies, and we’ve had hundreds of offers, we say fantastic! Don’t make a ventilator and buy these parts. Make these 10 parts for us and let us scale, which we can, between us and our competitors, to meet the demands of COVID-19.”
      The FDA accelerated the approval process for coronavirus-related treatments on March 31 to help with the health crisis. Nevertheless, ventilators made for patients with the most severe breathing problems are extremely complex and certification will take time, according to Gail Baura, an engineering professor at Chicago’s Loyola University who specializes in medical device technology and is author of a textbook on the subject that’s widely used at medical schools.
      “There are all these engineering standards that are used to design these medical devices, and the FDA looks to make sure that you have tested and proved conformity to these standards before you can get FDA clearance and legally sell these devices,” she tells Forbes. A lot of time will be required to validate ventilators coming from these new manufacturing partnerships, “even with the emergency use authorization that the FDA is providing.”

      Friday, 3 April 2020

      Tesla delivers 88,400 electric vehicles, beating expectations

      Tesla delivers 88,400 electric vehicles, beating expectations

      Tesla delivered 88,400 vehicles in the first quarter, beating most analysts expectations despite a 21% decrease from the previous quarter as the COVID-19 pandemic put downward pressure on demand and created logistical challenges.
      Tesla said Thursday it produced 103,000 electric vehicles in the first quarter, about 2% lower than the previous period.
      The deliveries and production figures beat most analysts expectations, causing Tesla shares to jump more than 10.4% in after hours trading. Analysts, who had anticipated lower numbers due to the COVID-19 pandemic, had varying forecasts. A consensus of analysts by FactSeat expected more than 79,908 vehicles would be delivered while Reuters reported IBES data from Refinitiv forecast numbers as high as 93,399 vehicles.
      The company, which sells directly to consumers as opposed to using dealerships, was able to beat those expectations in part because it continued to produce and deliver its electric vehicles to customers in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has prompted city, county and state officials to issue stay-at-home orders that have directed non-essential businesses to close. While manufacturing is often exempt from these orders, pressure from the United Auto Workers as well as falling demand has prompted automakers, including GM, Nissan, Ford, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Toyota and Volkswagen suspended production at all U.S. factories.
      Tesla also suspended production, beginning March 23, at its plant in Fremont, Calif. However, deliveries have continued.
      While COVID-19 still affected Tesla, the company still managed to beat its delivery numbers from the first quarter of 2019.
      Here's a breakdown of the first quarter 2020 deliveries and production:
      This quarter deliveries included some Model Y vehicles, the newest addition to Tesla's portfolio. Model Y production started in January and deliveries began in March according to Tesla.
      Tesla also said that its new Shanghai factory, which is producing the Model 3 for Chinese customers, is achieving "record levels of production, despite significant setbacks." Tesla didn't provide any details on the levels of production at the Shanghai factory. The first public deliveries of Model 3 sedans produced at its Shanghai factory began January 7, one year after Tesla began construction on its first factory outside the United States.

      Tesla Deliveries Beat Analysts’ Estimates, Sparking Stock Rally

      Tesla Deliveries Beat Analysts’ Estimates, Sparking Stock Rally

      (Bloomberg) -- Tesla Inc.’s early-year deliveries fell less than expected from record levels reached late last year, winning support from investors who pushed the shares 14% higher ahead of Friday’s open.
      Tesla handed over 88,400 vehicles worldwide in the first quarter, down 21% from the last three months of 2019. But the total beat analysts’ average estimate for about 78,100. The carmaker’s stock was priced at $516.21 in premarket trading, up from a close of $454.47 in New York.
      “I’m shocked they did so well,” Gene Munster, managing partner of venture capital firm Loup Ventures, said by phone. “I don’t know how they did it. They had every excuse in the world to put out a bad number.”
      Musk, 48, tried to salvage as much business as possible last month by introducing “touchless” deliveries at a time when authorities around the globe are urging would-be car buyers to shelter in place. While Tesla managed to deliver more vehicles than the year-ago quarter, the improvement was small considering the company added a new product -- the Model Y -- and opened an assembly plant in China.
      Tesla didn’t give an update on whether it still expects to deliver at least 500,000 vehicles this year.
      Analysts anticipate Tesla will sustain a significant blow along with all other automakers from the spread of the viral illness known as Covid-19. With a global recession increasingly likely, consumers are expected to be less interested in making big-ticket purchases like new vehicles even once they’re able to leave their homes.
      Model Y
      The vehicles delivered in the quarter include the first Model Y crossovers that started reaching customers in mid March. Musk has predicted it will be a big seller, potentially eclipsing the combined volume of all other vehicles in Tesla’s lineup: the Model 3, S and X.
      Tesla didn’t say how many vehicles it built during the quarter at its plant near Shanghai, which started production late last year. While the company suspended output when measures to contain the coronavirus forced plant closures across China, government authorities bent over backward to help the company reopen quickly.
      “The production number was very good, especially with what was going on in China,” Ben Kallo, an analyst at Robert W. Baird, said of the 102,672 vehicles Tesla built in the quarter. He isn’t bothered by the company neglecting to update its 2020 forecast. “It shows they don’t have visibility in this environment. Saying nothing is better than saying something at this point.”
      ‘Small Victory’
      Tesla’s lone U.S. assembly plant in Fremont, California, stopped production on March 23 after days of back-and-forth with city and county officials. San Francisco Bay area health authorities have since extended “stay-at-home” orders to at least May 3.
      Tesla delivered over 14,000 fewer cars than it produced in the quarter, meaning the automaker built inventory.
      Musk warned back in July -- long before the coronavirus outbreak -- that the first quarter of this year would be “tough.” Tesla’s vehicles are no longer eligible for federal tax credits in the U.S., and buyers also are getting less-generous support from the Netherlands, a market that contributed to record fourth-quarter deliveries.
      “I view it as a small victory during a dark time,” said Dan Ives, a Wedbush Securities analyst who rates Tesla a hold. “The devil is in the details and the big question is around 2Q cash burn given this unprecedented, treacherous environment.”

      Elon Musk's SpaceX bans Zoom over privacy concerns

      (Reuters) - Elon Musk's rocket company SpaceX has banned its employees from using video conferencing app Zoom, citing "significant privacy and security concerns," according to a memo seen by Reuters, days after U.S. law enforcement warned users about the security of the popular app.
      Use of Zoom and other digital communications has soared as many Americans have been ordered to stay home to slow the spread of coronavirus.
      SpaceX's ban on Zoom Video Communications Inc illustrates the mounting challenges facing aerospace manufacturers as they develop technology deemed vital to national security while also trying to keep employees safe from the fast-spreading respiratory illness.
      In an email dated March 28, SpaceX told employees that all access to Zoom had been disabled with immediate effect.
      "We understand that many of us were using this tool for conferences and meeting support," SpaceX said in the message. "Please use email, text or phone as alternate means of communication."
      Two people familiar with the matter confirmed the contents of the mail.
      A representative for SpaceX, which has more than 6,000 employees, did not respond to a request for comment. Chief Executive Musk also heads electric car maker Tesla Inc.
      NASA, one of SpaceX's biggest customers, also prohibits its employees from using Zoom, said Stephanie Schierholz, a spokeswoman for the U.S. space agency.
      The Federal Bureau of Investigation's Boston office on Monday issued a warning about Zoom, telling users not to make meetings on the site public or share links widely after it received two reports of unidentified individuals invading school sessions, a phenomenon known as "zoombombing."
      Investigative news site The Intercept on Tuesday reported that Zoom video is not end-to-end encrypted between meeting participants, and that the company could view sessions.