Tesla delivers fewer cars than expeceted in 1st quarter

A Tesla Model 3 car is displayed during a media preview at the Auto China 2018 motor show in Beijing. (Reuters File Photo)

Tesla delivered many fewer vehicles than expected in the first quarter of the year, according to figures released on Wednesday by the electric car manufacturer.

It delivered a total of 63,000 vehicles to customers in the first three months of 2019, 31 percent less than the previous quarter and down from the 76,000 units expected by analysts surveyed by FactSet.

For the Model 3, the car that is supposed to transform Tesla into a mass producer, the company delivered 50,900 units, compared to 54,600 expected by industry experts.

"Due to a massive increase in deliveries in Europe and China, which at times exceeded 5x that of prior peak delivery levels, and many challenges encountered for the first time, we had only delivered half of the entire quarter's numbers by March 21, ten days before end of quarter," Tesla said in a statement.

"This caused a large number of vehicle deliveries to shift to the second quarter. At the end of the first quarter, approximately 10,600 vehicles were in transit to customers globally," the automaker added.

Due to the lower-than-expected deliveries, combined with price adjustments made during the quarter, "we expect Q1 net income to be negatively impacted," it said.

But the automaker, whose financial situation is fragile, said that it nonetheless "ended the quarter with sufficient cash on hand."

Tesla still plans to deliver 360,000 to 400,000 vehicles throughout the year, and it production was 22 percent higher than first quarter deliveries, with a total of 77,100 cars built, including 62,950 Model 3s.

"We are doing everything we can to deliver cars globally as quickly as possible and look forward to continuing to scale deliveries throughout the year," Tesla said.

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