Tesla on Monday (Jan 2) reported record production and deliveries for fourth-quarter electric vehicles, but it missed Wall Street estimates, burdened by logistics problems, slowing demand, rising interest rates and fears of recession.
The world’s most valuable automaker delivered 405,278 vehicles in the last three months of the year, compared with Wall Street expectations of 431,117 vehicles, according to Refinitiv data.
The company had delivered 308,600 vehicles in the same period a year earlier.
Tesla delivered 388,131 Model 3 compact sedans and Model Y sports utility vehicles (SUVs) compared with 17,147 Model X and Model S luxury cars.
In total, Tesla made 439,701 cars in the fourth quarter.
As logistical bottlenecks persisted – an issue CEO Elon Musk had said in October he was working to resolve – Tesla’s fourth-quarter deliveries fell about 34,000 vehicles short of production.
In the third quarter, the company deliveries were about 22,000 units fewer than production.
Delivering fewer cars than it makes has been rare for the automaker, which in previous quarters delivered more or similar numbers to the vehicles produced.
Among other headwinds for Tesla, analysts have cited demand weakness in the world’s top auto market China, as well as stiff competition from legacy automakers such as Ford Motor, General Motors and startups such as Rivian Automotive and Lucid Group.
Tesla plans to run a reduced production schedule in January at its Shanghai plant, extending the lowered output it began this month into next year, according to a Reuters report, based on a review of an internal schedule.
Tesla’s stock, which did not trade on Monday due to a New Year holiday, fell 65 per cent in 2022, its worst year since going public in 2010. Analysts and retail shareholders feared demand issues stemming from an uncertain economy would dent the company’s target to grow deliveries by 50 per cent annually.
“This was a disappointing delivery number and the bulls will not be happy,” said Wedbush Securities analyst Daniel Ives.
Tesla said in a separate statement that it plans to host its Investor Day on Mar 1 and livestream the event from its Gigafactory in Texas when it will discuss long-term plans for expansion and capital allocation.
The automaker also hinted at a “generation 3” platform to show its investors on Investor Day. Musk said in October that Tesla was working on a “next-generation vehicle” which will be cheaper and smaller than the Model 3 and Model Y cars.