Tesla beats vehicle delivery estimates for second quarter, shares surge

(Reuters) – Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) outpaced Wall Street estimates for second-quarter vehicle deliveries on Thursday, defying a wider auto industry trend of plummeting sales as coronavirus lockdown orders kept shoppers at home and sending its shares up 9%.

Tesla delivered 90,650 vehicles during the quarter, significantly above estimates of 74,130 vehicles, according to Refinitiv data. It delivered 80,050 units of its new Model Y sport utility vehicle and Model 3 for the quarter.

Tesla’s only U.S. vehicle factory in California was shut down for some six weeks of the quarter, heeding local orders to curb the spread of COVID-19. While vehicle deliveries increased 2.5% on a quarterly basis, production dropped nearly 20%.

“While our main factory in Fremont was shut down for much of the quarter, we have successfully ramped production back to prior levels,” the automaker said in a statement.

The surprise delivery numbers come a day after Tesla became the highest-valued automaker, surpassing the market capitalization of former front-runner Toyota Motors Corp (7203.T). Thursday’s rally expanded the lead further.

Other major automakers posted lower U.S. monthly or quarterly new vehicle sales on Wednesday due in large part to weak fleet orders, but said consumer demand remained robust despite the continuinmg coronavirus pandemic.

Tesla is now seeking a location for a second U.S. vehicle factory to build its Model Y and a new electric pickup truck, zeroing in on Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Austin, Texas.

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