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Tesla Production Up, but Short for Wall Street


FILE: Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks before unveiling the Model Y at the company's design studio on March 14, 2019, in Hawthorne, Calif.

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.

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.

The company had delivered 308,600 vehicles in the same period a year earlier.

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.

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% 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% annually.

"This was a disappointing delivery number and the bulls will not be happy," said Wedbush Securities analyst Daniel Ives.

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 Co.., General Motors Co., and startups such as Rivian Automotive and Lucid Group.

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