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Elon Musk’s Tesla suffers a slump in sales – an “absolute catastrophe” for the billionaire

Tesla has reported a sharp decline in global sales due to increasing competition and slowing demand for electric vehicles.

The automaker said it delivered 386,810 vehicles in the first quarter of the year – nearly 9% fewer than the 423,000 it delivered from January to March last year.

It’s the company’s first year-over-year quarterly sales decline in nearly four years.

Tesla said the decline was “partially” due to that Disruption to shipping in the Red Sea region and an arson attack on his Gigafactory in Berlin.

The company also blamed the gradual rollout of an updated version of its Model 3 sedan at its Fremont, California, factory.

Tesla boss Elon Musk noted that rival electric car maker BYD had also suffered a decline in sales.

He wrote on X: “This was a tough quarter for everyone.”

However, some commentators blamed the controversy surrounding Mr. Musk, as well as increasing competition from rivals and waning “enthusiasm” for electric vehicles in general.

Wall Street tech analyst Dan Ives described the results as “a complete disaster that is difficult to explain.”

He said: “This was a train wreck in a brick-wall neighborhood for Musk and company.”

Mr. Ives also warned Mr. Musk against changing the company’s fortunes. “Otherwise, there could clearly be some darker days ahead that could disrupt the long-term Tesla narrative,” he added.

FILE PHOTO: Model Y cars are pictured during the opening ceremony of the new Tesla Gigafactory for electric cars in Gruenheide, Germany, March 22, 2022. Patrick Pleul/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo
Picture:
The Model Y is one of Tesla’s most popular cars. Image: Reuters

It comes just days after market research firm Caliber claimed that Mr Musk’s right-wing political views and controversial public statements on X had deterred some customers from buying a Tesla.

“It is very likely that Musk himself is contributing to the loss of reputation,” said Caliber boss Shahar Silbershatz.

Tesla did not respond to requests for comment on the claims.

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The reputation of the company itself has also suffered greatly in recent years Product recalls, complain And Security concerns.

However, as Mr. Musk emphasized, Chinese competitor BYD also reported a decline in sales. Just over 300,100 vehicles were sold in the first three months of the year, a 43% decline from the previous record quarter when the company overtook Tesla.

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Tesla car “spontaneously” catches fire

Despite regaining its crown as the world’s largest seller of electric vehicles, Tesla’s numbers fell short of Wall Street estimates and caused the company’s shares on the Nasdaq to fall nearly 5% by Tuesday’s close.

Nearly 96% of vehicles sold by Tesla in the first quarter were Model 3 and Y. Other vehicles the company recently launched include the “futuristic” Cybertruckwhich causes divided opinions among car enthusiasts.

Tesla will release its full first quarter financial results on April 23rd.

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