Tesla 4Q 2018 delivery numbers fall short

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Tesla Model 3 vehicles are loaded onto a truck for transport at the company’s manufacturing facility in Fremont, California, on Wednesday, June 20, 2018. 

The company delivered 8 percent more vehicles during the quarter, a new all-time high, but the numbers were fewer than expected by Wall Street. The company said it delivered 63,150 Model 3s, 13,500 Model S sedans and 14,050 Model X SUVs. Wall Street analysts had forecast 92,000 total deliveries — 64,900 for the Model 3, 14,200 for the Model S and 13,600 for the Model X, according to average estimates analysts compiled by FactSet. The numbers vary since FactSet tracks nine analysts on total deliveries, but not all analysts break out the data for each model.

FactSet does not compile average estimates on Tesla’s production.

Tesla’s own internal tracking of Wall Street analysts show that its deliveries were in line with or above estimates, spokesman Dave Arnold said. The company tracks 22 analysts that forecast an average of 91,046 deliveries during the quarter, according to data compiled by Tesla.

Tesla previously gave investors hope that its production rates would improve, saying that the number of labor hours to build the Model 3 fell by more than 30 percent from the second to the third quarter. The company also told investors in late October that it took less time to build than the Model S sedan and Model X sport utility vehicle — another first for the company.

“We will focus even further on cost improvements while continuing to increase our production rate” during the fourth quarter, the company said at the time.

CEO Elon Musk announced Oct. 23 that the company planned to limit certain options on its higher-end Model S sedans and Model X SUVs to streamline production. The company also announced plans during the fourth quarter to start selling a $45,000 version of the Model 3, before raising the price $46,000. It has yet to produce the base Model 3, which it has promised for a price of $35,000 before incentives.

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