Tesla slides on widening delivery and production gap, demand worries

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
Tesla slides on widening delivery and production gap, demand worries
Credit: © Reuters.

By Akash Sriram and Savyata Mishra

(Reuters) - Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA ) Inc shares closed down 8.6% in their steepest single-day decline in four months on Monday after third-quarter vehicle deliveries fell short of Wall Street estimates due to logistic hurdles, with slowing outlook for economic growth raising doubts about demand.

The tumble wiped out more than $71 billion in market value of the world's most valuable automaker and dragged down shares of other electric-vehicle makers.

Despite record quarterly deliveries, Tesla missed market expectations, with an unusually large gap between production and deliveries as it struggled to secure enough transportation during the peak time at a reasonable cost.

The shortfall in deliveries comes amid demand worries among investors and analysts due to increased prices of Tesla vehicles, higher borrowing cost and a dull outlook for global economic growth.

"While Tesla continues to point to supply constraints as limiting deliveries, the potential for demand destruction looms large," JP Morgan analyst Ryan Brinkman said.

Analysts warned that demand may lose steam in the coming quarters, with Toyota Motor Corp (TYO: 7203 )'s U.S. sales dropping 7.1%. "As far as shipping goes, we are not facing any issues," the Japanese automaker said.

Tesla will need to deliver more than 450,000 vehicles in the fourth quarter to meet its goal of growing deliveries by 50% annually. Reuters reported that it has set a target to produce about 495,000 Model Y and Model 3 in the period.

Graphic: Tesla's Q3 deliveries miss Wall Street estimates - https://graphics.reuters.com/TESLA-DELIVERIES/myvmndabxpr/chart.png

"The broader concern is more so than just them missing their deliveries, probably just more the going concern for all these smaller upstart EV... That might put us behind the curve in terms of where EV production goes," said GuideStone Capital Management's Brandon Pizzurro.

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The Tesla factory is seen in Fremont, California, U.S. June 22, 2018. REUTERS/Stephen Lam/File Photo

Still, analysts expect Tesla's manufacturing margins to remain robust in the fourth quarter, thanks to its pricing power and ability to use China as an export hub for many countries.

Meanwhile, rival Rivian Automotive Inc said on Monday it produced 7,363 vehicles in the third quarter, 67% higher than the preceding quarter, and maintained its full-year target of 25,000.

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