DETROIT (AP) — Tesla’s sales from April to June fell to the lowest quarterly level since last fall as supply chain issues and pandemic restrictions in China hampered production of its electric vehicles.
company Disclosure Saturday It sold more than 254,000 cars and SUVs from April to June, down 18 percent from the first three months of the year and well below the pace of growth in the fourth quarter of last year.
The last time Tesla saw fewer global sales was in the third quarter of 2021, when it delivered 241,000 vehicles.
The rest of the industry saw sales drop 21% in the second quarter on Friday as the average car price surged to a record $45,844 as inflation soared, according to JD Power.
Tesla’s slump in sales could herald weak second-quarter earnings for the Austin, Texas-based company, the world’s largest seller of battery-powered cars, which has been netting a net profit for nearly three years. Tesla plans to release full results for the April-June period on July 20.
Like many other stocks, Tesla stock has been hit hard this year. But Tesla’s 35% drop isn’t all about the company’s wobbly fortunes.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk also made a $44 billion bid for Twitter, but shelved it after complaining that Twitter had too many non-human spamming bot users.Much of Tesla’s value has eroded since Musk became Twitter’s largest shareholder and launched a takeover offer, raising concerns that he has too much on his already crowded plate
Musk used his own Twitter account, which now has more than 100 million followers, to discuss the pandemic restrictions that forced the Shanghai factory to temporarily close this quarter. Wedbush analyst Dan Ives estimates that more than 40% of Tesla’s sales come from China, and the Shanghai plant has cut vehicle production by about 70,000 vehicles due to the shutdown.
But Tesla said Saturday that things are improving, saying it produced more vehicles in June than any other month in history. The company did not disclose the number of cars produced in June.
As of early Saturday afternoon, Musk had not tweeted about Tesla’s second-quarter sales. But late Friday, he caused quite a stir when he ended an unusually nine-day silence on Twitter.His Friday tweets included one with him and four of his children Meet with Pope Francis.
Tesla’s latest delivery figures come a week after an interview with Musk in which he described the new factories in Austin and Berlin as “melting pots” that have been hit by supply chain disruptions that limit the number of cars they can make. Factories are losing billions of dollars.
In a May 30 interview with Tesla’s Owners Club, released just last week, Musk said that getting the Berlin and Austin factories up and running “is our primary concern. Everything else is small,” Musk said. said, but added that “everything will be resolved very quickly.”
Musk also discussed bringing salaried workers back to the office, as well as a potential 10% layoff at Tesla due to a possible recession.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19 two years ago, supply chain disruptions have been especially frustrating for automakers, who source parts from all corners of the globe. The lack of computer chips needed to run car computers has exacerbated problems for automakers and caused prices of used and new cars to skyrocket.
As the 2020 pandemic broke out in the U.S., automakers had to close factories for eight weeks to help stop the spread of the virus. Some component companies canceled semiconductor orders. At the same time, demand for laptops, tablets and game consoles has soared as people stayed at home to upgrade their devices.
By the time auto production resumed, chipmakers had shifted production to consumer goods, creating a shortage of weather-resistant automotive-grade chips. Even though Tesla is outperforming other automakers, the industry still can’t get enough chips.
Associated Press business writer Michael Liedtke in Berkeley, Calif., contributed to this story.