December 2, 2020

Elon Musk is reportedly pushing his team to boost production to hit a tough but historic milestone — building half a million cars in one year
  • Elon Musk sent an email to his employees laying out an ambitious goal: building 500,000 vehicles in 2020. 
  • Tesla needs to produce 170,000 vehicles in the fourth quarter — a 17% increase over Q3 — to reach that mark.
  • Musk’s email comes after Tesla topped analyst expectations for third-quarter vehicle deliveries.
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Elon Musk has never shied away from aggressive goals — and never hesitated to push those around him to help make them happen. For his latest would-be coup, the Tesla CEO wants to ramp up fourth quarter production by 17% compared to the third quarter, so Tesla can hit a milestone. 

“It will be tough but super exciting if we can exceed 500,000 cars made in a single year for the first time in Tesla history,” Musk told his staff in an email reported by Electrek. “It all comes down to Q4. Please take whatever steps you can think of to improve output (while increasing quality).”

Musk’s email comes after Tesla topped analyst expectations for third-quarter vehicle deliveries on Friday. The company delivered 139,300 vehicles during that time frame, just beating estimates of 134,720. Tesla has produced 330,000 vehicles throughout the first three quarters of this year, meaning it has to crank out another 170,000 to satisfy the CEO. (Tesla did not reply to Business Insider’s request for comment.)

The good Q3 numbers were the result of high demand for the Model Y sport utility vehicle and Model 3 sedan, which represented 124,100 deliveries. Tesla also beat Wall Street expectations in the second quarter, reporting its fourth consecutive quarter of profit — a company record.

“We believe the progress we made in the first half of this year has positioned us for a successful second half of 2020,” Tesla noted in a financial update. “Production output of our existing facilities continues to improve to meet demand, and we are adding more capacity.”

On September 28, Musk confirmed that Tesla eventually plans to design and manufacture new and differing car models at Gigafactory Shanghai and Berlin. This provided a glimpse of how Musk envisions Tesla’s roadmap for its extended and continuously growing supply chain.