Tesla stock falls after missing 4Q delivery mark

Tesla left over with 3,000 Model 3s in the US inventories

Tesla buyers no longer qualify for the full $7500 federal tax credit as of January 1. Model S and X production fell slightly year-on-year, but this was in-line with expectations and likely the result of the company's intense focus on pushing Model 3 development.

The Model 3, Tesla's mass market vehicle, saw sales of more than 145,000 previous year, the company said.

Tesla disappointed investors Wednesday after announcing that it delivered 90,700 vehicles during the fourth quarter, more than 2,000 vehicles short of what Wall Street analysts expected.

Musk previously stated that Model 3 reservations had surged to over half a million, but on a recent conference call he went back on this statement saying: "To be more accurate, there have been 518,000 gross reservations for Model 3 and then we have 455,000 net reservations".

Tesla has cut base prices on all nine variants of its Model 3 and Model S sedans and its Model X crossover by $2000 as the automaker adapts to a mandatory phaseout of the federal tax credit. Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives told CNBC that Tesla's failure to meet Wall Street projection was something that his firm had been prepared for: "It was a move that was within the realm of possibility, but it caught investors off guard", he said. Worldwide deliveries in Europe and China will start in February 2019. In July, Tesla passed that mark and triggered a phase-out of the tax credit, when, according to CNN, it became the first carmaker in the United States to sell more than 200,000 plug-in vehicles.

Tesla boosted production during the quarter, churning out 86,555 vehicles, up 8 percent from 80,142 during the third quarter, the company said. Tesla delivered 13,500 Model Ss and 14,050 Model Xs in the fourth quarter, raising the total for the year to 99,394 compared with about 100,000 in 2017. Our inventory levels remain the smallest in the automotive industry, and we were able to reduce vehicles in transit to customers by significantly improving our logistics system in North America.

Tesla delivered 63,150 Model 3s in its fourth quarter, falling short of FactSet estimates of 64,900. "We continue to believe Model 3 demand remains strong, particularly as the company has not begun global shipments or introduced leasing options, and are buyers on any weakness", Kallo wrote.

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