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Tesla whiffs on Q3 deliveries, says factory 'downtimes' to blame

Tesla (TSLA) reported third quarter delivery figures that missed the mark, as scheduled downtime at some of its plants shifted future production further into the fourth quarter.

Tesla said it delivered 435,059 vehicles globally, of which approximately 419,000 were Model Y and Model 3 vehicles and around 16,000 were higher-priced Model X and Model S cars. Wall Street consensus estimates had deliveries pegged at 456,722.

“A sequential decline in volumes was caused by planned downtimes for factory upgrades, as discussed on the most recent earnings call. Our 2023 volume target of around 1.8 million vehicles remains unchanged,” Tesla said in a statement.

For the quarter, Tesla produced 430,488 cars globally compared to estimates of 461,347. The lower production number in Q3 compared to deliveries suggests the automaker had a backlog of Q2 deliveries that occurred in Q3; the automaker did not comment on that specifically.

Tesla said it planned to shut down some production at Giga Shanghai for factory upgrades and also had planned for downtime at Giga Austin due to the ramp up for the Cybertruck during its Q2 earnings call.

Tesla shares initially dipped on the news of the delivery and production miss, but recovered to positive territory in early trade.

“There was nothing to write home about in these numbers and the Street will be left wanting more,” Wedbush analyst Dan Ives said in a note to investors shortly after release of Tesla’s Q3 figures. “That said, Musk & Co. committed to the 1.8 million delivery target for 2023 with momentum ahead as the Model 3 refresh and production of the Cybertruck are clear tailwinds into the next year along with margins troughing and rebounding from these levels.”

Ives also stated investors will be hoping for a big fourth quarter production and delivery figure to make up for Q3 performance. Indeed, Q4 will be a big one for Tesla as it recently launched a refreshed Model 3 sedan in some markets, and the Cybertruck is expected to begin limited deliveries by the end of the year. CEO Elon Musk had said a Cybertruck delivery event was coming in Q3, but that has not turned out to be the case.

Looking ahead, Tesla said it plans to release third quarter earnings on Oct. 18 after the market close, with its analyst conference call starting at 5:30 p.m. ET.

Pras Subramanian is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. You can follow him on Twitter and on Instagram.

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