Tesla Showroom Miami Design District December 2023. Photo / Phillip Pessar

Rough Ride for Tesla as Deliveries Tank

Above: A Cybertruck in a Tesla Showroom in the Miami Design District. Photo / Phillip Pessar / CC

Elon Musk’s Tesla witnessed a dramatic nosedive in deliveries throughout the opening salvo of the year, wrestling with the aftermath of a blaze at its European plant, worldwide logistical nightmares, and a slew of other hurdles.

The EV titan managed to deliver a mere whisper under 387,000 electric vehicles to its patrons – hitting the lowest quarterly mark seen in over a year.

This represents a plummet of more than 8 percent year-over-year, shockingly underperforming against analyst predictions.

Tesla’s shares took a dive, tumbling over 4 percent upon the revelation.

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Dan Ives from Wedbush Securities didn’t mince words, slamming the update as an “unmitigated disaster… that is hard to explain away”, when speaking to the BBC.

Already on a downward spiral over the past year, Tesla’s shares have felt the burn as sky-high interest rates render its cars a luxury fewer can afford, while adversaries are hot on its heels with their electric ventures.

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Pa Beach Cafe, 82 Blackwell Drive, Tryphena, Great Barrier Island (Aotea)

Despite slashing prices left and right, the firm has seen demand wane in pivotal markets such as China, where rivals like BYD are snatching up market share.

The tumult for Tesla only intensified in the year’s first quarter. Supply chains were thrown into chaos by Houthi onslaughts in the Red Sea, leading to a temporary closure of its German factory, which soon after became the target of an alleged arson assault.

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Pa Beach Cafe, 82 Blackwell Drive, Tryphena, Great Barrier Island (Aotea)

Ives painted a grim picture, suggesting the quarter unfolded as a “train wreck into a brick wall” for Tesla, turning up the heat on Musk.

He starkly warned, “This is a fork in the road time to get Tesla through this turbulent period otherwise troubling days could be ahead.”

Tesla conceded that its production took a hit in the first quarter, dialing back about 1.6 percent year-on-year, from 439,701 vehicles in 2023 to 433,371 in the same span this year.

However, the real punch was felt in deliveries, which saw a more dramatic decline, nosediving more than 8 percent year-on-year.

This grim milestone marks the first annual decline for any quarter since 2020, with deliveries staggering 20 percent below the final quarter of 2023.

This downturn arrives as automakers industry-wide retreat from their electric dreams, signaling a cautionary tale of demand not meeting the hype. Yet, the chorus of forecasters still bets on a sizable uptick in electric vehicle sales this year.

Tesla, however, is entangled in its unique quandaries.

Its autonomous driving tech, once heralded as the harbinger of a new growth era, is now under the microscope, while safety watchdogs probe into the firm’s power steering among other concerns.

Meanwhile, a faction of Tesla investors are sounding the alarm over what they perceive as a stale product lineup, exacerbated by Musk’s diverted gaze towards his social media venture X, formerly known as Twitter. His controversial decisions and posts there have sparked a firestorm, tarnishing the Tesla marque.

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