Tesla reported a jump in first-quarter auto deliveries on Friday, topping leading estimates, as it cited strong demand in China where the electric car maker has been ramping up production.

Tesla's deliveries for the period came in at 184,000, a two percent increase from the amount in the fourth quarter, but more than double the level from the year-ago period.

"We are encouraged by the strong reception of the Model Y in China and are quickly progressing to full production capacity," Tesla said in a securities filing.

Tesla's first-quarter auto deliveries topped leading estimates
Tesla's first-quarter auto deliveries topped leading estimates GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / JOE RAEDLE

When Tesla last reported earnings, the company did not project 2021 deliveries, but indicated it expected "faster" growth this year compared with the "multi-year horizon."

Wedbush analyst Dan Ives said in a note Friday that the first-quarter figures were a "jaw dropper," given that many analysts had expected a negative impact from the worldwide semiconductor shortage that has prompted many automakers to curtail production.

"Let's be clear, with chip shortages and related production issues the Street was thinking a 160k-165k numbers was in the cards," Ives said.

Tesla said its production in the fourth quarter was 180,338, up 76 percent from the year-ago period and a slight increase from the fourth quarter.