Tesla Deliveries Hit A Record But Miss Views Amid Demand Concerns

Tesla Deliveries Hit A Record But Miss Views Amid Demand Concerns

You’re here (TSLA) reported record third-quarter vehicle deliveries on Sunday, but they came in well below views. The report may reinforce demand concerns, especially in China, as Elon Musk’s EV giant ramps up production capacity.


Tesla stock fell solidly Monday morning after undercutting short-term lows Friday.

Tesla delivered 343,830 EVs in the third quarter, up 42% vs. a year earlier and topping Q1’s record 310,048. It was also 35% higher than Q2’s 254,695. The Shanghai plant faced a long shutdown and slow recovery in Q2 due to Covid lockdowns.

But analysts had expected Tesla deliveries of 350,000-370,000, with the consensus slightly above 360,000.

Given the big Tesla expansions over the last six months, the increase is relatively modest. Tesla Berlin opened in March and the Austin plant in April, though those sites are still slowly ramping up. The Shanghai site got a big capacity upgrade in July and early August, with those moves temporarily limiting output.

Indeed, Tesla production significantly exceeded deliveries in Q3, with the EV giant churning out 365,923 vehicles last month.

Tesla delivered 325,158 Model 3 and Model Y vehicles in Q3, along with 18,672 Model S and Model X luxury EVs.

In its press release, Tesla cited logistical challenges and an increased number of vehicles in transit.

Tesla China Demand Concerns

There are indications that Tesla demand is not strong enough to meet the increased capacity, especially in China.

However, Reuters reported last week that Tesla plans to keep production at the upgraded Shanghai plant at around 93% of capacity through the end of year. The recent improvements to the plant increased production capacity by almost a third.

Tesla China wait times for new vehicles came down sharply in September, signaling little or no backlog. Wait times have increased modestly again, as Tesla shifts back to exporting Shanghai vehicles at the start of the quarter.

Tesla began offering a new insurance subsidy in China last month, serving as a de facto price cut. That insurance subsidy will now run through year-end.

There is speculation that Tesla will announce an outright China price reduction in early October. Another option is for Tesla to export an even-greater share of its Shanghai output. There are some reports that this is already happening, with Shanghai shifting to export a few days earlier. That could why Tesla has more vehicles in transit.

But European backlogs are also starting to come down, with Tesla recently introducing a shorter-range Model Y there, often at a much-lower price than the prior base model. Also, the Berlin plant should slowly account for a greater share of Tesla’s European sales.

Adding to the pressure: BYD (BYDDF) and Nio (NIO) have just introduced Model 3 rivals, with the Model Y likely to face growing competition over the next year.

Tesla EVs

Tesla produces the luxury Model S sedan and Model X SUV as well as the Model 3 sedan and Model Y crossover. However, the vast majority are the Model 3 and Model Y models.

Other vehicles, including the Semi and Cybertruck have been pushed back multiple times. Musk has said the Cybertruck is on track for mid-2023 and that the Tesla Semi will begin deliveries by the end of 2022.

The Q3 Tesla delivers came on the heels of Tesla’s AI Day on Friday, in which the company showcased its latest Optimus humanoid robot prototype, as well as AI advances in driver-assist software. Musk tweeted that the event was primarily a pitch to recruit AI and robotics engineers.

Tesla Stock

Tesla stock fell more than 5% before the open in Monday’s market trading. That would be the lowest since late July. Shares fell 1.1% to 265.25 on Friday, undercutting recent lows. Shares fell back from the 50-day moving average during the week.

Tesla stock are in a long consolidation with a 402.73 buy point, according to MarketSmith. Investors could view the pattern as a long double-bottom base, offering a 384.35 entry. However, TSLA stock’s chart is in flux.

But there’s also a smaller base within the wide and loose action of the past year. Now looking like a small double-bottom pattern, TSLA stock has a 313.90 entry.

Tesla has a Composite Rating of 83. It has a 78 Relative Strength Rating, an exclusive IBD Stock Checkup gauge for share price movement with a 1 to 99 score. The rating shows how a stock’s performance over the last 52 weeks holds up against all the other stocks in IBD’s database. The EPS rating is 77.

Clash Of The Titans: Tesla Vs. BYD

Tesla China Rivals

Musk and Tesla are also facing new competition in the China EV marketplace from BYD, Nio, Li-Auto (LI), and XPeng (XPEV). Nio, Li Auto and Xpeng reported September deliveries on Saturday, with BYD sales also due in early October.

NIO And BYD Target Europe In Challenge To Tesla

BYD, the world’s largest maker of EV and plug-in hybrids and China’s largest seller of pure electrics, is taking on Tesla’s Model 3 directly for the first time. The BYD Seal, with similar specs but $10,000 less than a Model 3, kicked off deliveries in late August.

Luxury EV startup Nio began deliveries of the ET5, a Model 3 rival on Sept. 30.

BYD and Nio are also looking to solidify footing in the European market, after starting sales in Norway in 2021. BYD presented three all-electric models for Europe at a virtual event on Sept. 28, and Nio is set for a similar event Oct. 7. BYD recently began deliveries in Australia, India and several other Asian nations, launching in several other markets in the next few months.

Please follow Kit Norton on Twitter @KitNorton for more coverage.


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