Tesla on Sunday announced lower-than-expected electric vehicle deliveries in the third quarter, as logistical challenges overshadowed its record deliveries.
Tesla delivered 343,830 electric vehicles, a record for the world’s most valuable automaker, but less than the 359,162 analysts on average had expected, according to Refinitiv. A year earlier Tesla delivered 241,300 units.
The latest deliveries fell short of Tesla’s production of 365,923 vehicles, which is rare for the automaker which has seen its deliveries higher or similar to production in many of recent quarters.
“Historically, our delivery volumes have skewed towards the end of each quarter due to regional batch building of cars,” Tesla said in a statement. “As our production volumes continue to grow, it is becoming increasingly challenging to secure vehicle transportation capacity and at a reasonable cost during these peak logistics weeks.”
The results came as concerns are growing about the global economy that could dampen consumer demand for expensive items, hitting technology stocks such as Apple and Tesla last week.
“The economy around the edges is still having a negative impact for Tesla that’s mostly logistical. But I think there is some demand (issues) sprinkled in there,” Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives told Reuters after the delivery results.
“There is a dark cloud over the auto sector. And Tesla is not immune.”
Ford Motor said last month inflation-related costs would be $1 billion more than expected in the third quarter and that parts shortages had delayed deliveries.
Tesla set an ambitious target to produce almost 495,000 Model Y and Model 3s in the fourth quarter of this year, internal plans reviewed by Reuters show.
The company’s production ambitions come against the backdrop of an increasingly gloomy outlook for global growth, with Musk himself telling top managers in June he had a “super bad feeling” about the economy and planned to cut staff.
“I think that EVs are in for probably a little bit of a rough patch, just because people are probably going to be a little bit hesitant and less urgent to buy something new,” OANDA senior market analyst Ed Moya said.
In September, Tesla’s vehicle order backlog fell especially in China, Troy Teslike, a Tesla data tracker tweeted.
The automaker also upgraded production lines at Shanghai after a resurgence in COVID-19 cases forced a suspension at the plant and fueled the first dip in deliveries after a nearly two-year-long record run.
Tesla said it delivered 325,158 Model 3 compact cars and Model Y sport-utility vehicles, as well as 18,672 of its Model S and Model X premium vehicles to customers during the quarter.