Tesla said on Monday that it delivered 405,000 electric vehicles in the final three months of the year, an 18% increase from the previous quarter and below analysts’ expectations, which could fuel investor concerns that the electric car company is losing money. motivational concerns.
Wall Street analysts had forecast Tesla would sell about 420,000 vehicles from October to December, up from 343,000 in the third quarter.
The company will sell a total of 1.3 million vehicles in 2022, a 40% increase from the previous year. That’s below the 50% annual growth target Tesla has set for itself.
The increase in deliveries was impressive compared with established automakers, but fell short of analysts’ forecasts and what Tesla executives suggested months ago. Wall Street has grown increasingly pessimistic about Tesla, concerned that its chief executive, Elon Musk, is paying too much attention to Twitter, which he acquired in October.
Tesla’s problems include a sharp rise in Covid cases in China, which is weighing on demand and forcing the company to suspend production at its largest factory in Shanghai. The company also faces stiffer competition from legacy automakers such as Ford, General Motors and Volkswagen, and weaker consumer demand as interest rates rise. The wait time for Tesla models has shortened, and the company has lowered prices on cars in China and offered incentives to buyers in the United States.
Tesla shares have tumbled this year as investors lost faith in Mr. Musk’s vow that the company would sell twice as many cars as Toyota, the world’s largest automaker, by the end of the century.
As the world’s largest auto market, China is the focus of investors’ attention. Chinese manufacturer BYD already outsells Tesla in China, raising further doubts about Mr Musk’s ability to achieve world domination in the auto industry. Tesla has had to shut down production in China several times due to supply chain issues and rising Covid cases.
Last week, Musk tried to reassure Tesla employees, telling them not to focus solely on the stock price and reiterating that the automaker would become the most valuable company in the world, according to Reuters.
On a percentage basis, Tesla’s sales growth has outpaced that of any major competitor. The company is also one of the most profitable automakers in the world and is building new factories in Texas and Germany.
But investors are concerned about the risk that legacy automakers, with decades of experience producing cheap, mass-produced cars, could catch up to Tesla sooner than expected.
Car buyers, especially left-leaning, environmentally conscious consumers who tend to buy electric vehicles, also appear to be staying away from Tesla because of Mr. Musk. His erratic behavior on Twitter and fierce rhetoric on the social media platform endeared him to conservatives and Silicon Valley executives, but angered many others.