Tesla sales softer than expected in Q4 2022


aria-label="Tesla Model S Plaid new"

Tesla didn’t quite satisfy analyst forecasts despite setting an annual production record.

Tesla fell just short of investors’ sales expectations during the final quarter of 2022, despite setting a new record for car production throughout the year.

Analysts expected the American EV firm to deliver around 420,000 cars during the fourth quarter, but it recorded 405,278. Nonetheless, this was a 12.9 per cent increase over the previous quarter.

aria-label="Tesla Supercharger"

An overwhelming majority (388,131) of its fourth-quarter sales were of the Tesla Model 3 sedan and the closely related Tesla Model Y SUV.

The remaining 17,147 deliveries were of the upmarket Tesla Model S sedan and the Tesla Model X SUV, for which sales of facelifted cars are yet to begin outside the US.

Tesla has announced that it will this week begin taking Chinese orders of the range-topping Plaid variants of these cars, with initial deliveries scheduled for the first half of 2023.

Tesla’s failure to meet investors’ expectations comes despite an assault of incentives designed to boost end-of-year sales.

Despite what it describes as “significant Covid and supply-chain-related challenges”, Tesla recorded a new high for car production last year, making 1,369,611 cars – a 40 per cent improvement on 2021 levels.

The opening of new factories in Berlin, Germany, and Austin, Texas, likely contributed significantly to this increase.

Following the release of these preliminary results, Reuters reported a reshuffle at Tesla’s executive level.

China vice-president Tom Zhu has effectively been promoted to CEO Elon Musk’s second-in-command, now overseeing Tesla’s US factories, as well as its stateside and European sales operations, said the news agency. Zhu will also continue his responsibilities in Asia.

This follows a previous report that he was charged with ramping up production at the Texas plant, earmarked to house production of the Cybertruck pick-up from later this year.

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