Tesla Motors delivered more than 50,000 cars (or 50,580, to be exact) for the first time in 2015, which is better than not bad for a “startup.” How’s the Model X doing? There’s a couple hundred on the road already, thanks for asking.

You might even say it’s “good,” especially considering the notion that quirky automotive upstarts such as Fisker, TVR, Stutz, Tucker, Gumpert, TVR once more, and Carbon Motors never came within screaming distance of 50,000 cars before collapsing unceremoniously.

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Fourth quarter deliveries consisted of 17,192 Model S vehicles and 208 Model X vehicles, according to a company press release, though 507 Model Xs were built and the remainder are still awaiting delivery to their lucky owners with an affinity for silly and splendid doors. For a little context, that’s 75% more Model S deliveries than the same quarter last year.

But for more context, Tesla actually told investors a while ago that it planned to deliver between 50,000 and 55,000 vehicles in 2015, so the 50,580 figure isn’t exactly unexpected. And for even more context upon that, Tesla’s still almost certainly losing money, as it also said awhile ago that it planned to invest around $500 million back into its own business in the fourth quarter of 2015, which is the sort of thing that precludes any real profits when you’re just a wee little auto company.

Though for even more context, as today is feeling quite contextual, it’s probably best not to compare sales of the Tesla Model S to silly upstarts that make cars with non-moving chairs and 17 different levels of manually adjustable traction control like Gumpert, but to another company that makes quite expensive large luxury sedans.

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And the king is, as always, Mercedes-Benz. While Mercedes hasn’t broken out its 2015 numbers for the S-Class yet, in 2014 it sold over 100,000 examples of the S-Class.

Still, when you consider that Tesla’s doesn’t have the heritage, history, or absolutely mind-blowing levels of resource that Mercedes has, and that just a few short years ago Tesla was mostly known for just shoving batteries in a poorly adapted Lotus Elise, and that fears over range anxiety will likely induce many buyers to snag a thirsty V8s and V12s over electric motors, 50,000 cars ain’t bad at all.


Contact the author at ballaban@jalopnik.com.
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