Tesla Inc.'s price cuts in the first quarter led to significant volume gains, according to U.S. new-vehicle registration data from Experian. But the benefits came mostly from the relatively fresh Model Y crossover and not the older Model 3 sedan, Model X crossover or Model S hatchback.
Analysts are closely watching Tesla's numbers after CEO Elon Musk said last month he was willing to sacrifice profits to maintain a global growth target of 50 percent a year for the foreseeable future. Tesla is targeting between 1.8 million and 2 million vehicles in total global production this year.
After deep price cuts in January and several adjustments after that, Musk said, "the overall thing we can say is that orders are in excess of production."
Tesla opened two new factories last year, in Texas and Germany, boosting Model Y annual capacity by about half a million vehicles, the company said.
In the first quarter, Tesla's U.S. registrations rose 37 percent compared with the same period last year to 155,360 vehicles, Experian data shows. Registrations for the Model Y soared by 79 percent to 93,294 vehicles, representing more than one-third of all EV sales in those three months.
Because Tesla doesn't break out U.S. sales from global numbers, registrations serve as a proxy.