SAN FRANCISCO: Tesla Inc on Friday said it delivered 139,300 vehicles in the third quarter, a quarterly record for the electric carmaker, but shares fell 5.7 percent in pre-market trading. The company slightly beat consensus estimates by Refinitiv for deliveries of 134,720 vehicles, but fell short of some of Wall Street’s most bullish forecasts, with analysts issuing a wide range of estimates.
While the broader market was down on Friday morning, Tesla shares were among the heaviest decliners. Tesla delivered 124,100 Model Y and Model 3 units, slightly below Refinitiv consensus expectations of 128,000 Model 3 and Model Y vehicles combined. Some analysts had expected weaker U.S. demand for the mass-market Model 3 due to the release of the Model Y.
Including the third quarter, Tesla has delivered some 318,000 vehicles this year, putting the company under pressure to increase deliveries once more to nearly 182,000 in the fourth quarter to reach its ambitious year-end target of half a million deliveries. Tesla’s total production in the quarter rose 76 percent to 145,036 vehicles compared with the previous three-month period. The company last quarter said production at its California plant has ramped up to pre-pandemic levels after production at its core vehicle plant suspended from the end of March to early May due to the COVID-19 lockdown orders.
Tesla’s delivery push has been supported by its new Shanghai factory, the only plant currently producing vehicles outside California. Tesla began delivering Model 3s from its Shanghai factory in December and has said it aims to produce 150,000 Model 3 sedans in the factory per year and later 250,000 vehicles a year, including the Model Y. Some 23,300 Tesla vehicles were registered in China in the months of August and July, with data from September still to come.
Tesla is also building a new vehicle and battery manufacturing facility near Germany’s Berlin and seeks to start construction on a vehicle factory in Austin, Texas in the third quarter. Meanwhile, Tesla Inc chief executive Elon Musk indicated on Friday that the US electric carmaker will make a foray into India in 2021. “Next year for sure,” Musk said on Twitter in reply to a post with a photograph of a T-shirt with the message: “India wants Tesla”.
“Thanks for waiting,” Musk said. Tesla’s entry could come at a time when Prime Minister Narendra Modi is increasingly becoming focused on promoting the use and manufacture of electric vehicles. India’s auto sector, already reeling from a slowdown in demand last year, has been further hit by the novel coronavirus pandemic and carmakers are seeking government support to push sales. Musk commented last year about coming to India, in response to someone on Twitter who asked “What about India sir?”. “Would love to be there this year. If not, definitely next!” he said in March 2019. – Reuters