Tesla deliveries fall for the first time in two years

Electric vehicle maker blames supply chain challenges and factory shutdowns for drop in production

Tesla chief executive Elon Musk with China-made Model 3 vehicle owners during a delivery event in Shanghai in January. Reuters
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Tesla delivered 254,695 cars worldwide in the second quarter, ending a two-year streak of gains after a coronavirus-related shutdown at its factory in Shanghai affected production.

The results, posted on Saturday, missed a forecast of 261,181 vehicle deliveries based on an average of analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Second-quarter deliveries are less than the record 310,048 cars Tesla delivered in the previous three months, but more than the 201,250 from the same quarter a year ago.

Tesla faces “ongoing supply chain challenges and factory shutdowns beyond our control”, it said.

The delivery data is a closely watched indicator for Tesla because it provides insights into the electric car maker’s likely financial performance.

The figure is also widely seen as a barometer for EV demand generally, since the Texas-based company has led the market for battery powered vehicles.

Chief executive Elon Musk had warned of a “very tough quarter” in an internal memo seen by Bloomberg.

But the Shanghai shutdown may have made the most recent quarter’s tally something of an outlier.

Mr Musk said earlier this year that he expected production in the third and fourth quarters would be “substantially higher” and that Tesla was on track to expand production to more than 1.5 million vehicles this year.

Tesla does not break down global sales by geography, but the US and China have long been its largest markets. The company currently makes the Model S, X, 3 and Y vehicles and has plans to start production of new models.

In the waning days of the quarter, while Mr Musk maintained his Twitter silence, other executives delivered cars to customers, including design chief Franz von Holzhausen.

The end of the quarter has often been an all-hands-on-deck situation, with employees from across the company pitching in to help deliver cars in the final hours.

Tesla will report second-quarter earnings after the market close on July 20, the company said on Saturday. The annual meeting of shareholders will be held on August 4.

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Updated: July 03, 2022, 8:14 AM
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