Tesla Deliveries Disappoint in Q4

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

Alert readers may recall a post just prior to New Year’s about Tesla putting $7,500 cash in the frunk of several models in an attempt to juice sales before year-end. Beyond the irony of that move in the first place, after years of the company and its fanbase raking legacy automakers over the coals for doing the same thing, reports are surfacing that numbers still failed to meet expectations.

How much of ‘failed expectations’ is down to reality and how much is due to overly aggressive targets is up for debate. Most of us know at least one person in a metric-driven role for a company that sets bonkers-grade goals and then loses their mind when the poor sods (understandably) can’t meet them. It reminds this author of his time at the Ford store during a hot July 20 years ago when the dealer principal increased our sales target after we met the initial one on the 21st. It increased again when we met the new one four days later.

Anyways, dangling those discounts apparently helped roll Tesla to a total of 405,278 deliveries worldwide in the fourth quarter of 2022. This did indeed mark a record but the year’s total of over 1.31 million vehicles fell short of the 50 percent year-over-year growth for which the company was aiming. Apparently, talking heads expected Tesla to deliver about 430,000 cars.

See what we mean about good numbers being ruined by unrealistic goals? After all, 40 percent growth is not to be trifled. But growth is slowing due to a number of factors, not the least of which is the existence of several legitimate competitors in most segments, something which could not be said just a short while ago.

Those numbers are for the company’s four core models, by the way. As an interesting sidebar, it is estimated that over 90 percent of its sales were from the Model 3 and Model Y range of vehicles, leaving the larger S and X rides squarely on the sidelines in terms of sales. This stat is largely down to the fact that 3 and Y production happens globally; America, China, and Berlin all contribute to the assembly of at least one of those models. The Cybertruck – oh no, wait. Never mind.

[Image: Tesla]

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Matthew Guy
Matthew Guy

Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.

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  • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on Jan 04, 2023

    "This did indeed mark a record but the year’s total of over 1.31 million vehicles fell short of the 50 percent year-over-year growth for which the company was aiming"

    Their perhaps unrealistic goals aside, 1.31m units globally is pretty good. If half of those were USDM deliveries, that would be roughly 4.x% market share at 12m USDM units. Pretty good actually given the high cost of their products and general drawbacks of the BEV.

    • Mopar4wd Mopar4wd on Jan 04, 2023

      Looks like the estimates are somewhere around 450k in the US, so around 3.5% market share which is pretty impressive given the length of time Tesla has existed.

  • Ed Ed on Jan 22, 2023

    If we have learned anything from Elon, it's that he loves making wildly unrealistic public announcements about Tesla deadlines, introductions and goals and then completely and repeatedly blowing those same things, with some baldfaced lies thrown in the mix for good measure. This is his signature style of Tesla corporate governance chaos, and nobody who is paying attention should be surprised at this point.

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