Tesla car sales fall short of analyst expectations

3 Jan 2023

Image: © terryleewhite/Stock.adobe.com

The company’s stock fell dramatically in 2022, as economic headwinds and Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover have impacted the company.

Tesla’s last three months of car deliveries have fallen short of analyst expectations, as the company faced challenges related to Covid-19 and supply chain issues.

The company said it produced more than 439,000 vehicles and delivered more than 405,000 vehicles in the previous three months. However, analysts expected Tesla to deliver more than 431,000 vehicles, Reuters reports.

Tesla produced nearly 1.37m vehicles in 2022 and sold more than 1.31m, which marks sales growth of 40pc compared to 2021. This fell short of the 50pc growth target Tesla had set for itself, The New York Times reports.

The electric vehicle maker has faced growing competition, as legacy automakers such as Ford and General Motors continue to push into the growing market.

Tesla lost its top spot as world’s leading manufacturer of battery-powered electric vehicles last July, getting beaten in production by Chinese rival BYD.

In July, Tesla announced it had sold 75pc of its bitcoin holdings, which added $936m in cash to its balance sheet. At the time, Tesla CEO Elon Musk cited concerns over the overall liquidity of Tesla in light of Covid-19 shutdowns in China as the main incentive to sell.

The company has also been impacted by economic headwinds. Tesla said it will post the financial results for its last quarter and its 2022 fiscal year on 25 January.

These latest results could add more pressure on Musk to move his focus away from Twitter and back to Tesla.

Musk’s moves at the helm of Twitter have caused problems for Tesla, with its stock price dropping by more than 65pc in 2022, Reuters reports.

A Wall Street analyst warned last month that actions such as suspending a host of journalists from Twitter have damaged Tesla’s market sentiment. Musk had used Tesla shares to back his $44bn takeover of the social media company.

Last month, Musk said he will resign as the CEO of Twitter once he finds “someone foolish enough to take the job”. This was in response to an online poll, where a slight majority of users voted for him to resign.

This follows his statement to a Delaware judge in November when he said that he planned to find somebody else to run Twitter “over time”.

10 things you need to know direct to your inbox every weekday. Sign up for the Daily Brief, Silicon Republic’s digest of essential sci-tech news.

Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic