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Tesla Q4 Deliveries Show Another Big Miss

Q4 deliveries of about 405K short of the analyst consensus by nearly 15K, falling below that bar despite “aggressive price discounting” into year-end. Additionally, inventory growth of 34K units to 78K a concern.

Production significantly outpaced deliveries for the second quarter in a row. Management attributed this to a “continued transition towards a more even regional mix of vehicle builds,” leading to more in-transit vehicles at the end of the period.

Musk said back in early 2019 that Tesla would soon fix the delivery surge that results in a lot of deliveries late in the quarter. That still really hasn’t happened over the last three years, despite plenty of opportunities to reorganize the timing of vehicle builds in the production facilities.

The company produced more than 56,500 vehicles more than it delivered in the back half of 2022. That will only help to fuel the concerns about sluggish demand.

This was the second straight quarter where Tesla’s reported delivery figure fell quite a bit short of estimates. In late December, Tesla investor relations sent out its usual company compiled estimates figure, which was just a little below 418,000 vehicles. Despite that number being a bit below where the street was just a few weeks earlier, the actual figure fell almost 13,000 units short.

There were numerous promotions throughout Q4 to drive demand.

In the US, Tesla pushed a late in quarter $3,750 credit, which was eventually doubled, along with the giveaway of 10,000 free supercharging miles.

In China, multiple promotions were detailed throughout the quarter, and these even came after prices were cut early in the quarter. Some other promotions were even enacted in lower volume sales countries to help, but apparently, they were not enough. Tesla has started 2023 by offering another set of incentives in China to offset the elimination of that country’s EV subsidy.