While Tesla has been quiet about 2017 deliveries or production ramp up progress so far, Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) registration has been our best method of guessing at how that is going. We knew that as of December 28, 8,362 VINs had been registered with the NHTSA. VIN registration happens before a car is made, so we know that in the short term, Tesla needs up to 8,000 of them ready.
Today, Model3VINs on Twitter, which has been tracking VIN registrations, posted an update showing that some of those VINs have been changed over to 2018 model year VINs. The total number of VINs assigned to 2017 was 2,984. The deliveries are not sequential though, as the highest VIN in MY2017 was 3837, while the lowest MY2018 VIN was 2569, meaning we will see some cars being delivered this year with VINs lower than some delivered last year.
What does this mean?
Most likely, Tesla actually delivered 2,984 cars last year, far below their initial estimates, and well below their updated estimate. This does show that production is picking up, but nowhere near the "thousands per week" that Elon Musk stated would happen in December on the Q3 earnings call.
In other words, get excited, but don't get too excited yet. When we start seeing thousands of VIN registrations per week, then we will soon after see thousands of cars produced per week.
The car is definitely being made though, and going into regular customers' hands, and from my own experience, it is an incredible car.