Tesla ships fewer Model 3 sedans than expected in last quarter
06 April, 2018, 02:05
Production numbers are finally officially in: The first quarter of the year saw Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) produce 34,494 vehicles overall, up 40% from the previous quarter.
Deliveries hit new levels as well, with Tesla delivering 29,980 vehicles in total during the first quarter.
But a series of setbacks have left Tesla far behind schedule in turning out the Model 3 - for which almost 400,000 prospective buyers have already put down $1,000 deposits - and it is taking some extraordinary measures to turn things around.
Shares of Tesla climbed more than 5% on Tuesday after the company said that the production of its Model 3 cars had gone up to about 10,000 since the beginning of 2018. The company, according to Bloomberg, which has been tacking Model 3's production rate, has been assembling about 1,276 units a week for the last couple of weeks.
The company's Model 3 is priced at around $35,000, well below the prices for the Model S and Model X, and Tesla and its investors are counting on the Model 3 to lead the company to the promised land of profitability.
Separately, CNN reported that Tesla will voluntarily recall about 123,000 Model S sedans due to problems with the luxury sedan's power steering, and a class-action lawsuit against Musk and Tesla's board of directors over the company's acquisition of a solar panel company is set to proceed after a judge in DE refused to dismiss it.
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We have also created an interactive dashboard analysis which outlines our expectations for Tesla over 2018. The reality is that Tesla's debt is trading well into "junk" territory, and short-sellers are pouncing on Tesla's equity at an alarming rate (the company has been one of the most shorted firms for quite some time now).
Many professional shorts (AKA hedge funds) judge it too risky and stay out of the game, but watch intently, and much of the Tesla share register (the longs) are in the "fanboy" classification.
So all (investor) eyes were on the latest announced production figures last night Australian time, which came in at 2,020 Model 3s in the last week (8,180 delivered for the quarter - only 4 times as many).
Still, March was the second-worst-performing month for Tesla shares - down 36 percent since the September 2017 record high of $389.61. What took our team five years for S/X, took only nine months for Model 3.
Yet there is a silver lining to Tesla's production rate miss.
Bloomberg News' experimental tracking model estimates that Tesla built about 9,285 Model 3s for the first quarter, or about 774 a week.
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