Select Page

Yesterday, April 2, Tesla (TSLA) reported that it delivered just 386,810 vehicles in the first three months of the year.

That was the biggest difference between actual sales and Wall Street sales estimates in data going back seven years, according to Bloomberg. Most analysts expected Tesla to sell more vehicles than a year ago. Instead, deliveries ended up dropping 8.5% year-over-year.

And it was the first drop in year-over-year sales since the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic. Tesla reported that it delivered only 386,810 cars in the first quarter of 2024. That’s down from the 484,507 cars it delivered in the final three months of 2023, and it’s also down from the 422,875 vehicles it delivered in the first quarter of last year.

As of the close in New York time yesterday, April 2, Tesla shares traded at $166.63, down 4.90%. The drop would probably have been league except that Tesla has already sold off so strongly. The 52-week high from back in July 2023 was $299.29. The stock was down 29.48% for 2024 as of the close on April 1.

It didn’t helped the stock yesterday that the company’s explanation for the drop is, essentially, unconvincing. Tesla blamed the decline in part on its changeover to an upgraded version of the Model 3 sedan. It also cited Red Sea-related shipping delays and the suspected arson attack that cost it days of production in Germany.

But production doesn’t seem like the problem. Tesla built 433,000 vehicles but delivered only 387,000.

Despite the drop in sales, Tesla did manage to reclaim its title as the world’s top seller of electric vehicles from China’s BYD Co. In the first quarter, BYD (BYDDF) delivered 300,114 battery-electric vehicles globally to Tesla’s 386,810. Including plug-in hybrids, BYD sold 626,263 vehicles. I added BYD to my Jubak’s Picks Portfolio on December 28, 2023. The position is down 6.52% since then.