Sales of the Tesla Model S in the fourth quarter of 2013 were the highest in company history by a significant margin. With almost 6,900 vehicles sold and delivered, Tesla exceeded prior guidance by approximately 20%. A higher than expected number of cars was manufactured as a result of an excellent effort by the Tesla production team and key suppliers, particularly Panasonic, the company said.
Tesla attributed the results to the “superlative safety record of the Model S” and great performance under extremely cold conditions. Including the Roadster, Tesla vehicles have now been on the road for almost six years in 31 countries with almost 200 million miles driven to date. Despite dozens of high speed collisions, the driver and passengers have always been protected, the company claimed.
Tesla attributed its cold weather performance to the the precision of its electric powertrain, which gives it outstanding traction control relative to the much higher latency and inertia of a gasoline powertrain. As a result, it is able to perform better on snow and ice than many all-wheel drive gasoline cars.
Tesla’s highest sales per capita are in Norway and the individual customer who owns the most cars lives in Narvik, which is above the Arctic Circle, the company noted.
A minor media kerfuffle broke out on Tuesday as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) acknowledged receipt of Tesla’s letter advising the agency, as required under law, of its over-the-air software update to provide greater control of charging when using the Universal Mobile Connector NEMA 14-50 adapters to reduce the risk of a garage fire. (Earlier post.) Tesla has also designed an improved wall adapter and will be delivering this to cutomers free of charge.
The irrepressible Elon Musk objected to the use of the term “recall” and took to Twitter:
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