The Case of the Missing Teslas
July 3, 2016
By Charley Grant
Add yet another problem to the list at Tesla Motors TSLA -3.02 % : lackluster growth.
Tesla announced on Sunday that it delivered 14,370 vehicles in the second quarter. That is well below its own forecast of about 17,000, which it gave in May. Although sales of its Model X grew significantly from the first quarter, its signature Model S sedan actually saw sales fall sequentially by more than 22%. That is surprising since Tesla said in May that Model S orders were strong. The company has now missed its own deliveries guidance for two consecutive quarters.
The electric auto maker has delivered fewer than 30,000 cars in the first half of the year, putting its full-year forecast of 80,000 to 100,000 in serious jeopardy. Tesla says it expects to deliver “about 50,000” cars in the next six months. That isn’t impossible, but Sunday’s news is disconcerting. Since Tesla can’t successfully forecast deliveries more than two months out, it stretches CEO Elon Musk’s bold forecast of 500,000 deliveries by 2018 from improbable to farcical.