Tesla delivers 200,000 cars a quarter for the first time

It broke a record set just months earlier.

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A photograph of the front of a Tesla car while it's being assembled by robots on the assembly line.
Mason Trinca for The Washington Post via Getty Images

Tesla has once again topped its delivery record, and this time it reached a symbolic milestone. As CNBC notes, the EV maker delivered an all-time high of 201,250 vehicles in the second quarter of 2021 — the first time it has ever shipped more than 200,000 cars to customers in a given quarter. It delivered 184,800 machines in the first quarter of the year.

The Model 3 and Model Y represented nearly all of the deliveries. Tesla delivered just 1,890 Model S and Model X units, although that wasn't helped by the wait for the Model S Plaid. The first deliveries for the upscale electric sedan officially started on June 10th.

The achievement came despite "many challenges," founder Elon Musk said. He didn't elaborate on what those were, but he'd previously mentioned "major" supply chain price issues as a factor. Raw materials were a particular sore point, Musk added. The automotive industry as a whole has also reeled from chip shortages, making it difficult for some companies to manufacture enough cars to meet demand.

The number isn't as large as what some analysts were hoping for. Estimates ranged as high as 231,000. Even so, it's notable that Tesla is besting its own results despite cooling momentum and a less-than-forgiving market. The bigger challenges lie ahead — it has to face stiffer competition as EVs become mainstream, particularly from potential blockbuster hits like Ford's F-150 Lightning.

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