Tesla recently announced that its vehicle deliveries were not meeting analysts’ forecasts, due to disruptions at its production site.
Tesla announced Sunday that it delivered only 343,830 vehicles in the third quarter due to problems at its Shanghai production site. That’s less than analysts were expecting on average, at 359,162 deliveries, according to data from Refinitiv.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the electric carmaker was still benefiting from strong customer demand but that the problem was with the manufacturing and shipping of its Model Y and Model 3.
Analysts see these as early signs of caution from the automaker as the global economy slows and global car sales forecasts are revised downward.
Adam Jonas, an analyst at Morgan Stanley, says that while Tesla doesn’t face an immediate demand problem, it should be careful about its pricing and its ability to deflect the business cycle. “It would be unreasonable to assume that there is no limit to the prices Tesla can continue to raise without demand suffering and that the company is not exposed to decelerating macroeconomic growth,” he said in a research note.
Tesla has met supply chain challenges better than most of its rivals this year. So analysts expected it to post strong growth next year by ramping up production. But there are signs that it will have to adjust to a tougher market. Fitch Solutions, which provides country risk and industry research, said Tuesday that it expects global auto sales to fall 5.4% in 2022 before rebounding (partially) in 2023.
Sam Abuelsamid, an analyst at Guidehouse Insights comments “Tesla could end up in financial trouble in the third and fourth quarters (2023), if its factories continue to be underutilized.”
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