Tesla Shares Plummet as Company Misses Vehicle Delivery Estimates - Again

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The automaker's third-quarter pre-tax profit was around $3,200 per vehicle delivered, but for the first nine months of 2018 the company suffered a loss per vehicle delivered of $8,019, according to Reuters calculations.

Tesla has been urging buyers to make use of the federal tax credit, with chief executive officer Elon Musk reminding them on Twitter on Saturday that the benefit would drop to half beginning 2019.

The Model 3 now starts at $45,200 with destination for the Mid Range version; it is the cheapest new Tesla currently for sale (the long-promised $35,000 Standard Range version is now said to be four to six months away). Come 2020, the tax credit disappears entirely (although no one will care since two-thirds of the world's wild animals are on track to disappear by 2020, too).

By the end of the quarter, Tesla had 1,010 Model 3 and 1,897 Model S and X that was in transit to customers, which are expected to be delivered in early 2019.

Tesla will cut the price of its Model 3, Model X and Model S vehicles.

Musk said back in October that Tesla turning its attention to filling Model 3 orders in Europe and China early this year would help pick up any slack in demand once US buyers lose the full $7,500 federal tax credit.

The $44,000 Model 3 is seen is the most important auto for Tesla, with founder Elon Musk touting it as a more affordable vehicle.




The company's deliveries for the year matched Wall Street estimates, but its figures for the fourth quarter fell short.

It built 86,555 vehicles in the fourth quarter, including 61,394 of its flagship Model 3 sedans.

"The price cut is what's driving the stock lower, as it openly acknowledges the sunset of subsidy dollars is a material headwind", said Craig Irwin, an analyst with Roth Capital Partners.

Deliveries of Model 3s in the period were 63,150, a 15pc rise and in line with Tesla's guidance but slightly below the 63,700 analysts had been expecting.

Deliveries to customers in Europe and China will begin in February, the company said.

Moving beyond the success of Q4, we are taking steps to partially absorb the reduction of the federal EV tax credit.

There remain significant opportunities to continue to grow Model 3 sales by expanding to global markets, introducing lower-priced variants and offering leasing. Tesla has been through hell in 2018, thanks in no small part to the antics of its CEO.

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