Tesla sets delivery record, but still lags Elon Musk's goal

Tesla delivers 10,030 vehicles in first quarter of 2015

Tesla Motors said it set a new company record for the most cars delivered in a quarter, with 10,030 vehicles in the first three months of 2015.

This is the first time the company has disclosed deliveries within three days of a quarter's end, a practice Tesla said it would continue.

"We have decided to take this approach, because inaccurate sources of information are sometimes used by others to project the number of vehicle deliveries," the Palo Alto-based company said Friday.

Most auto manufacturers report vehicle sales on a monthly basis.

Analysts said the announcement is an indication of Tesla's evolution, as the company previously delivered figures on an inconsistent basis.

"They try so hard to practice different norms than the rest of the auto industry," said Jessica Caldwell, senior analyst for Edmunds. "I think it's one sign, at least, of conforming."

Caldwell said the only accurate way to get numbers on Tesla deliveries was through Department of Motor Vehicles registrations.

"People were constantly putting together a puzzle," she said.

The company said the first-quarter global delivery figure marks a 55% increase from a year earlier. But it's still a long way from Chief Executive Elon Musk's estimate of 55,000 deliveries in 2015.

“Ten thousand is the best he’s done yet, but it’s not going to get him to 55,000," said Karl Brauer, senior analyst at Kelley Blue Book. "He still needs to get the rate of production and sales improved to a pretty good chunk between now and the end of the year."

Tesla said deliveries are only one measure of financial performance and should not be seen as an indicator of quarterly financial results.

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