Tesla suffers biggest ever sales drop

It is the first time in nearly two years the electric car maker has experienced a quarter-to-quarter sales decline

Anthony Cuthbertson
Thursday 04 April 2019 12:57
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Sales of Tesla Model 3 and Model S sedans and Model X SUVs fell for the first time in nearly two years
Sales of Tesla Model 3 and Model S sedans and Model X SUVs fell for the first time in nearly two years

Tesla has reported its biggest ever drop in vehicle sales in the company's history.

The electric car maker revealed the first quarter of 2019 saw 31 per cent less sale deliveries than the previous quarter, representing a fall of nearly 30,000 vehicles.

It is the first time in nearly two years that Tesla has experienced a quarter-to-quarter sales decline but still represents a significant increase from the first quarter of 2018.

Tesla's Model 3 proved to be the firm's most popular car in the first three months of the year Tesla, representing 50,900 sales. The remainder of sales were made up of Model S sedans and Model X SUVs.

The Model 3 is billed by Tesla as the first ever mass market all-electric car, costing $35,000 for the standard model.

This long-promised price point was only delivered in February and involved a number of significant cost cuts in order to reach it.

Tesla noted that sales figures for the quarter did not necessarily reflect a fall in demand, as a sale is only counted when the vehicle is delivered to the customer. This is because the full price is only paid when the customer receives it.

"US orders for Model 3 vehicles significantly outpaced what we were able to deliver in Q1," Tesla wrote in a note to investors.

"Given that Tesla vehicle production currently occurs entirely from one factory in the San Francisco Bay Area, but must be delivered to customers all around the world, production could be significantly higher than deliveries, as it was this quarter, when production exceeded deliveries by 22 per cent"

The quarterly results come as lawyers for Tesla CEO Elon Musk head to court to argue he did not violate a fraud settlement with the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) in the US as a result of his use of Twitter.

A settlement with the SEC last October ruled that Mr Musk could not post tweets about Tesla without first seeking approval from the company's board.

The SEC claims he violated this in February by tweeting Tesla's intentions of making 500,000 cars in 2019.​

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