Tesla (TSLA) releases Q3 numbers, misses expectations

Tesla (TSLA) released its Q3 numbers today, and the automaker missed expectations by a decent margin despite warning Wall Street.

As we previously reported, delivery expectations were all over the place this quarter due to a warning from CEO Elon Musk.

The CEO said that factory upgrades throughout the quarter would result in shutdowns that would ultimately result in lower production and deliveries – breaking Tesla’s streak of record quarters.

The information has resulted in Wall Street having wide-ranging delivery estimates from 440,000 units to 490,000 units.

The consensus settled at about 455,000 electric vehicles.

Tesla Q3 2023 delivery and production numbers

Today, Tesla released its Q3 2023 delivery and production numbers, and Tesla missed the expectations with 435,000 deliveries during the quarter.

  Production Deliveries Subject to operating lease accounting
Model S/X 13,688 15,985 8%
Model 3/Y 416,800 419,074 4%
Total 430,488 435,059 4%

Tesla’s stock dropped by as much as 4% in pre-market trading following the release of those numbers.

It’s fair to note that while this breaks Tesla’s quarterly record streak and it is below Wall Street expectations, it is still a record delivery number for a third quarter at Tesla by close to 100,000 units.

Tesla reiterated that the lower delivery numbers were due to “planned factory downtimes”:

In the third quarter, we produced over 430,000 vehicles and delivered over 435,000 vehicles. A sequential decline in volumes was caused by planned downtimes for factory upgrades, as discussed on the most recent earnings call. 

The automaker is aiming to deliver a total of 1.8 million vehicles in 2023, and in the release today, it states that this is still the goal.

Electrek’s Take

As I said on the podcast last week, I felt like Wall Street was setting Tesla up for failure this quarter with expectations of 462,000 deliveries, which did come down a bit over the last few days, but it was still high.

Now I thought it would be around 440,000 units, but it looks like even I had a bit high expectations.

As for what it means for Tesla, I think that there’s no doubt that Tesla is having some demand issues, like the rest of the auto industry, but it’s primarily due to the extremely high-interest rates making large purchases, like cars, hard for most people these days.

Also, could Tesla have sold more vehicles in Q3 if it wasn’t for the factory shutdowns? I think so. Maybe not a ton more, but yes.

So I wouldn’t be too worried about this quarter.