Despite an auto industry hurt by the pandemic, electric car giant Tesla (TSLA) reached a milestone by delivering 499,550 vehicles in 2020, beating Wall Street estimates of 481,261 vehicles.

The delivery figure was a 36% increase over 2019. However, it was just short of CEO Elon Musk's ambitious goal of comfortably exceeding 500,000 vehicles.

Tesla tweeted out the news Saturday. Some social media users called the U.S. automaker out for falling short of its guidance.

Many on Twitter also praised the company for a year of strong returns.

Tesla saw a boost after it opened a new factory in Shanghai in 2019. It's the company’s second factory, with the first being in Fremont, California, which shut down from mid-March to early May due to the pandemic.

In the fourth quarter, Tesla delivered 180,570 vehicles, which set a company record.

While many automakers struggled, it was a solid year for Musk's company. Shares of Tesla surged more than 700% through the last year. The company recently joined the S&P 500 index.

The Model Y vehicle has started being produced in Shanghai and delivery is expected soon. Meanwhile, plants are expected to open in 2021 outside Berlin and Austin, Texas.

CEO Elon Musk
Tesla CEO Elon Musk visits the site of one of his company's future plants in Grunheide near Berlin in September. AFP / Odd ANDERSEN