“I thought it would be bad, I didn't expect it to be this bad!” , Tesla fell to the altar

wallstreetcn ·  Apr 3 09:49

Source: Wall Street News

Tesla had a bad start in 2024, and the difference in production and sales data reached nearly 50,000 vehicles. Inventory data confirmed that Tesla may have serious insufficient demand. Analysts exclaimed that first-quarter deliveries were an inexplicable disaster.

Since the first quarter, Wall Street investment banks have lowered the right amount several times$Tesla (TSLA.US)$Delivery volume is expected, but the published data shows that analysts' expectations are still too optimistic.

On April 2, Tesla released a report on automobile production and delivery volume for the first quarter, showing that Tesla deliveries fell 8.5% year on year to about 386,800 vehicles, and fell more than 20% from month to month, far lower than analysts' previous expectations of 449,000 vehicles, setting a new record for the biggest drop below expectations.

Wedbush analyst Dan Ives, who has been optimistic about Tesla for a long time, commented, “Although we are already expecting poor deliveries this quarter, this data is a disaster that is difficult to explain.”

In response to the decline in sales, Tesla said that production of the new Model 3 version at its Fremont plant in California in the first quarter of this year was in the peak production phase. Logistics were blocked due to the Red Sea conflict, and factory shutdowns due to the Berlin Gigafactory arson incident all affected production and delivery volume.

According to media analysis, the slowdown in consumer demand has become Tesla's biggest concern at present. High interest rates have kept potential car buyers in a wait-and-see attitude, and fierce competition and poor charging facilities have also made consumers unwilling to pay for it.

Deutsche Bank analyst Emmanuel Rosner said that Tesla's production in the first quarter was 433,000 vehicles, and the difference between production and sales reached nearly 50,000 units. Inventory data confirmed that in addition to known production bottlenecks, Tesla may also have serious demand problems.

Affected by this news, Tesla's stock price plummeted 4.9% on the same day. Due to market concerns that Tesla has lost its growth momentum, its stock price has fallen by nearly 33% since this year, and the market value has evaporated by more than 260 billion US dollars.

Tesla's sales woes

As the global NEV market becomes increasingly competitive, Tesla in the Chinese market faces a$BYD Company Limited (002594.SZ)$/$BYD COMPANY (01211.HK)$and competition from multiple brands. In Europe, established car manufacturers such as Volkswagen and BMW have launched more attractive electric models. In the US market, Tesla is facing pressure from slowing demand for electric vehicles, and consumers prefer hybrid models.

Sales in the Chinese market have always been viewed as an important part of Tesla's global sales, but recently there has been a downward trend.

According to data from the Passenger Federation, in March of this year, Tesla China's wholesale sales volume was 891,000 units, totaling 220,900 units in the first quarter, slightly lower than the 229,300 units in the same period last year. According to reports, BYD sold 6262.63 million eco-friendly vehicles in the first quarter, such as pure electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles. This is an increase of 13% compared to the first quarter of last year.

Analysts believe that Tesla's two models, Model 3 and Model Y, have reached the end of their life cycle, and their product strength is being overtaken by Chinese car companies.

According to Tesla's plan, the new-generation entry-level models will first be mass-produced at the Texas plant at the end of next year, followed by the Mexican factory and Shanghai factory. Well, if the new model is to be launched in the Chinese market, it will have to wait at least until the first half of 2026.

This means that in the next two years, Tesla will only be able to sell its current models in the Chinese market, where competition is the toughest in the world. How to deal with competition from China's new energy hegemon, BYD, and many new forces will be the biggest challenge facing Tesla China.

Deutsche Bank analyst Rosner believes that although Tesla's price reduction strategy in the Chinese market may boost sales in the short term, it will continue to put pressure on profit margins and earnings in the long run, and the results are not as effective as before:

Although Tesla has announced that it will raise prices in the US and China starting in April, we think it is to boost sales in March rather than a sign of strong demand.

Meanwhile, in the US market, Tesla is facing market cooling and pressure from hybrid models. The growth of the US electric vehicle market showed signs of deceleration in the fourth quarter of last year. The year-on-year growth fell from 49% in the third quarter to 40%, which is also lower than 52% in the same period of 2022.

On the one hand, weak charging infrastructure has become an important factor limiting the popularity of electric vehicles in the US. As of December 2023, there were only 165,000 public charging stations in the US. On the other hand, demand for electric vehicles in the US has slowed and declined sharply, and there are also factors that are squeezing hybrids.

Of the top ten best-selling new energy models in the US last year, only three were pure electric, Model Y, Model 3, and Chevrolet Bolt. There are seven hybrid models, and Honda and Toyota occupy six seats. While pure electric vehicles increased by only 40% at the end of last year, sales of hybrid vehicles increased 75%, in stark contrast.

Wells Fargo analyst Colin Langan had previously predicted that the core problem facing Tesla is that its once strong growth capacity is no longer there. Prices have been cut several times to stimulate demand, but there has been little effect, and the revenue and profit growth rate has clearly slowed down. Tesla's sales volume will grow at zero this year, but by 2025, the situation will get worse. Sales volume will drop. Lowering Tesla's target price from $200 to $120 means the stock will drop another 30%.

Some investors also believe that Tesla's current sales difficulties are mainly due to Musk's personal actions. Ross Gerber, a well-known Tesla investor and CEO of Gerber Kawasaki Wealth Investment Management Company, commented on X that in order to “save” Tesla, Tesla's board of directors needs to be immediately replaced with an independent director; only Musk alone is responsible for this.

The translation is provided by third-party software.

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