Tesla production surges 64%; misses 4th quarter delivery target

The company produced 24,882 vehicles in the final quarter of the year

Afp January 04, 2017
The company produced 24,882 vehicles in the final quarter of the year. PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON: Electric carmaker Tesla said Tuesday production last year surged 64 percent compared to 2015, but the company missed its delivery target for the final three months of 2016.

Tesla produced 24,882 vehicles in the final quarter of the year, resulting in total 2016 production of 83,922 vehicles.

Because of issues around the transition to new Autopilot auto-driving hardware, "production was weighted more heavily towards the end of the quarter than we had originally planned" and nearly 2,800 vehicles were not delivered, the company said in a statement.

As a result, the share price fell 1.83% to $213.02 around 22.00 GMT in after-hours trading.

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However, the company said it hit its production goal and had 6,450 vehicles in transit to customers that will count towards to first quarter delivery total.

"We were ultimately able to recover and hit our production goal, but the delay in production resulted in challenges that impacted quarterly deliveries, including, among other things, cars missing shipping cutoffs for Europe and Asia," the company said.

Even if the vehicles were fully paid for, they did not count these as deliveries in the fourth quarter unless the customer received the vehicle and completed all the paperwork.

Vehicle demand late in the year was particularly strong, with net orders for Model S and X at an all-time record and 52% higher than the fourth quarter of 2015.

Company founder Elon Musk said in October he expected profitability in the fourth quarter.

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Tesla, known for its high-end cars which sell for upwards of $70,000, is also working on a more affordable model at about half the price which is aimed at expanding the market for electric vehicles, as it seeks to boost the range between charges. It already has received 400,000 orders for the more economical model.

General Motors is hoping to challenge Tesla's lower-priced model with its own Bolt electric vehicle.

Chevrolet promises the Bolt can travel more than 200 miles on a single charge, also comparable to the Tesla Model 3's 215-mile expected range.

Tesla is including self-driving technology into all the electric cars it makes, running it in "shadow" mode to gather data on whether it is safer than having people in control.


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