Elon Musk & Tesla Reach Ambitious Goal Of Selling 500,000 New Cars In 2020! (Give Or Take A Few Thousand)

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors Inc., talks about the Model X car at the company's headquarters Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015, in Fremont, Calif. Musk said the Model X sets a new bar for automotive engineering, with unique features like rear falcon-wing doors, which open upward, and a driver’s door that opens on approach and closes itself when the driver is inside. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Tesla met its goal to sell 500,000 cars in 2020, as far as you know. Sure, the actual number was 499,500, but who wouldn’t round up and say a cool half-million?

Despite the coronavirus pandemic and a related closure of one of its U.S. plants, Tesla impressively still roughly hit the half-million goal that CEO Elon Musk set at the outset of 2020. Tesla reported Saturday that 180,570 – or 36% – of those sales came in the final quarter. About 64% of sales were in the second half of the year.

For the calendar year, Tesla stock increased by 700% as annual sales increased 36% over 2019.

As the 500,000-car target looked difficult to reach, Musk gave a last-ditch pitch last week to offer three months of Full Self-Driving mode for anyone who had their Tesla delivered from Dec. 29 to Dec. 31. The option costs $10,000 to buy.

Tesla reported the 499,500 sales number in a press release, along with a production total of 509,737 vehicles. The 2020 sales total doubles the company’s sales in 2018 and is nearly five times more than 2017’s total. The year’s sales and five consecutive profitable quarters also put Tesla on the S&P 500 index on Dec. 21.

Tesla’s release also said that the 2020 tally was a conservative number and that there was a half-percent margin of error.

Musk tweeted Saturday, “So proud of the Tesla team for achieving this major milestone! At the start of Tesla, I thought we had (optimistically) a 10% chance of surviving at all.”

Tesla stockholders are happy to just be hearing that now.

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