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Tesla shares fall 7% after first quarter vehicle delivery and production report

Tesla’s new Model 3 sedans wait to be shipped on board at the Shanghai Haitong International Automotive Terminal in Shanghai, China, March 14, 2024.

VCG | Getty Images

Tesla I just published it Vehicle production in the first quarter and delivery report for 2024. Here are the key numbers:

Total deliveries Q1 2024: 386,810
Total production Q1 2024: 433,371

Shares fell 7% in premarket trading.

Tesla doesn’t break down sales by model, but said the company produced 412,376 Model 3/Y cars and delivered 369,783. Of the other models, 20,995 examples were produced and 17,027 were delivered.

In the same period last year, the electric car manufacturer reported 422,875 deliveries and production of 440,808 vehicles. In the fourth quarter of 2023, Tesla reported 484,507 deliveries and production of 494,989 vehicles.

Deliveries are the closest to Tesla’s reported sales, but are not precisely defined in the company’s shareholder announcements.

Analysts expected deliveries of about 457,000 for the period ending March 31, according to an average of 11 estimates compiled by FactSet. Estimates ranged from a high of 511,000 deliveries to a low of 414,000 for the first quarter, with estimates updated in March ranging from 414,000 to 469,000 deliveries.

Independent auto industry researcher Troy Teslike, whose work is closely followed by Tesla fans, had expected around 409,000 deliveries.

Martin Viecha, head of investor relations at Tesla, sent a consensus compiled by the company based on estimates from 30 analysts to selected investors over the weekend. The consensus, seen by CNBC, said analysts expected a mean of 443,027 deliveries and a median of 431,125 deliveries for the quarter.

Tesla faced numerous challenges in the first quarter.

Houthi militia attacks on shippers in the Red Sea disrupted Tesla’s component supply and temporarily halted production at its German factory outside Berlin in January. In March, environmental activists set fire to infrastructure near the same factory, leaving Tesla without enough operating power and disrupting production again.

In China, Tesla faced an onslaught of competition from domestic electric vehicle makers, including BYD and newcomers like phone maker Xiaomi. After sluggish sales of its Chinese-made cars in January and February, Tesla reduced production of its Model 3 and Model Y at its Shanghai factory and cut workers’ hours from 6.5 days to 5 days a week.

In the US, reviews were mixed for Tesla’s latest model – a square pickup truck called the Cybertruck – which the electric vehicle maker only began selling in small numbers in December last year.

A series of discounts and incentives appeared to be less effective for Tesla in increasing sales volume than in the past.

In the final days of the first quarter, Tesla CEO Elon Musk asked all sales and service employees to install and demonstrate the latest version of the company’s premium driver assistance system to customers in North America before handing over their cars. The system is marketed as “Full Self-Driving,” but it does not make Tesla cars autonomous. They require a person at the wheel who is ready to steer or brake at any time.

Tesla shares fell 29% in the first quarter, the sharpest decline since the end of 2022 and the third-largest quarterly decline since the company’s initial public offering in 2010.

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