Tesla just released its vehicle production and deliveries report for the fourth quarter of 2022.
Here are the key numbers.
Total shipments Q4 2022: 405,278
Total production Q4 2022: 439,701
Total annual shipments in 2022: 1.31 million
Total annual production 2022: 1.37 million
Deliveries are the closest approximation to Tesla’s published sales. Those numbers represented a new record for the Elon Musk-led automaker and a 40% year-over-year growth in deliveries.
However, the figures for the fourth quarter fell short of analysts’ expectations.
As of December 31, 2022, Wall Street expected Tesla to report around 427,000 deliveries for the final quarter of the year, according to a consensus of analyst estimates compiled by FactSet. Estimates updated in December and included in the FactSet consensus ranged from 409,000 to 433,000.
These more recent estimates were in line with a company-compiled consensus shared by Martin Viecha, Tesla’s vice president of investor relations. This consensus, published by an electric vehicle industry researcher @TroyTeslike said that 24 sell-side analysts expected Tesla deliveries averaging about 417,957 for the quarter (and about 1.33 million deliveries for the full year).
Tesla started production at two new factories this year — in Austin, Texas and Brandenburg, Germany — and ramped up production in Fremont, California, and in Shanghai, but there are no production and delivery numbers by region.
In the fourth quarter of 2022, Tesla said deliveries of its entry-level Model 3 sedan and crossover Model Y totaled 325,158, while deliveries of its high-end Model S sedan and SUV Model X totaled 18,672.
In its third-quarter shareholder presentation, Tesla wrote, “Over a multi-year horizon, we expect 50% compound annual growth in vehicle deliveries. The growth rate will depend on our equipment capacity, factory uptime, operational efficiency, capacity and supply chain stability.”
The period through December 31, 2022 was marked by challenges for Tesla, including Covid outbreaks in China, which prompted the company to temporarily halt and reduce production at its Shanghai plant.
During the fourth quarter, Tesla also offered big price cuts and other promotions in the U.S., China, and elsewhere to spur demand, although it could put pressure on its margins.
In a recent email to Tesla employees, Elon Musk urged employees to “volunteer” to deliver as many cars as possible to customers before the end of 2022. In his email, Musk also encouraged employees not to be “harassed,” which he described as “stock market madness.”
Tesla stock has plunged more than 45% over the past six months.
In December, several analysts expressed concern about slowing demand for Tesla electric vehicles, which are relatively expensive compared to a growing number of hybrid and all-electric products from competitors.
Along with rivals ranging from industry veterans Ford and GM to upstart Rivian, Tesla is poised to reap the benefits this year of Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, which includes incentives for domestic production and purchases of all-electric cars.
Retail shareholders and analysts attributed some of Tesla’s falling share price in 2022 to what they call a “Twitter overhang.”
Musk sold his multi-billion dollar holdings in Tesla last year to fund a leveraged takeover of social media company Twitter. This deal was completed at the end of October. Musk proclaimed himself CEO of Twitter and has sparked controversy by making sweeping changes to the company and its social media platform.
Tesla’s shares started rising again in the closing days of December 2022 on anticipation of record fourth-quarter and full-year deliveries.