Tesla worries Wall Street


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Tesla In, (TSLA) may be headed for a grim milestone as both demand for electric vehicles and high interest rates affect the company’s sales.

According to Wall Street analysts, estimates for this week’s delivery report were quickly revised as the end of the quarter approached. Some on Wall Street are even bracing for Tesla’s first sales decline since the early days of the pandemic.

Market analysts expect Tesla to deliver 453,964 vehicles in the quarter. That’s down more than 6% from the company’s record fourth quarter, which is usually the best season for sales.

The key will be to deliver more cars than the 422,875 achieved in the first months of last year and avoid the first year-over-year decline since the second quarter of 2020.

Elon Musk may not have helped in the last week of last month, when Tesla’s CEO introduced a new guideline, acknowledging it would slow the sales process by requesting all customers in North America to take test drives to evaluate the driver-assist feature Tesla markets as ‘full autonomous driving.

Tesla began offering a one-month free trial of this feature, which costs about US$199 per month as a subscription or US$12,000 as a purchase. This was one of the many benefits the company offered in order to attract new buyers, along with temporary discounts or free charging sessions

Similarly, Musk signaled to investors in January that the company was experiencing significant growth. This growth was driven by the Model 3 and the Model Y sports utility vehicle. The next growth impact is believed to be the launch of a much more affordable next-generation vehicle late next year.

With this next-generation car still delayed, some analysts fear that Tesla’s outlook of a significantly lower growth rate will turn into a reality of near-zero growth in the first quarter. Not to be forgotten, the company suffered several setbacks during the quarter, such as constant shutdowns at its plant near Berlin. Additionally, it shifted its California factory to create an upgraded version of the Model 3, which may slow down production.

Tesla is facing increasingly strong competition in China, not only from BYD but also from other manufacturers that produce electric vehicles more cheaply and with superior technology

Tesla is finding it difficult to keep pace with BYD Co in China, which consolidated its position as the world’s best-selling electric vehicle manufacturer at the end of the previous year. The U.S. automaker gave orders to employees at its Shanghai plant last month to slow production by working five days a week instead of the customary 6.5 days.

The Model 3 and Model Y models cornered 96% of Tesla’s global deliveries last year. The company also produces the Model S sedan and Model X SUV and began selling the Cybertruck last year, but has not yet detailed sales of that vehicle.

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