Tesla on Wednesday announced it delivered about 63,000 cars in Q1, below analysts’ expectations of 76,000 deliveries. It also said it produced approximately 77,100 cars during the quarter.
However, the company reaffirmed full-year guidance of 360,000 to 400,000 vehicle deliveries in 2019, which should reassure investors given this quarter’s miss. It also said that approximately 10,600 vehicles were in transit to customers, reflecting unexpectedly big demand in China and Europe.
Breaking the numbers down by model, the company says it delivered approximately 50,900 Model 3s and 12,100 Model S and X vehicles. It produced 62,950 of its new Model 3 vehicles and 14,150 Model S and X cars.
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Investors expected demand for Tesla’s electric vehicles to slide during the first quarter as buyers of its energy efficient cars lost some key federal tax credits and the company faced falling demand for its luxury lineup.
“We do not find this slowdown in U.S. demand to be totally surprising or alarming,” Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi told investors in a research note Friday. He noted that Tesla’s most expensive Model 3s accounted for “an extraordinary” 33 percent of all sales of sedans priced between $40,000 and $60,000 in the second half of 2018.
The average selling price for a Model 3 sedan, Tesla’s most popular vehicle, was $57,000 last year, according to data compiled by FactSet.
The first quarter also reflects demand for Tesla electric vehicles without the full $7,500 federal tax credit used to gin up demand for energy efficient cars. The credit for Tesla buyers was halved to $3,750 beginning Jan. 1.
CEO Elon Musk has attempted to stoke demand by releasing the long-awaited $35,000 Model 3, Tesla’s cheapest car, and generate more interest in the company by unveiling another highly anticipated vehicle – Tesla’s Model Y crossover utility on March 14. Two of the three vehicles Tesla currently sells are sedans, which have fallen out of favor with customers who increasingly prefer crossovers, SUVs and pickup trucks.
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