Tesla Delivered More EVs Than Expected, But It Still Lost The Top Spot

Tesla Delivered More EVs Than Expected, But It Still Lost The Top Spot
Theodora Lee Joseph, CFA

2 months ago2 mins

Mentioned in story

What’s going on here?

Tesla delivered a few more electric vehicles (EV) than expected last quarter, but a competitor’s well-laid plan meant it beat the OG at its own game.

What does this mean?

Tesla’s a dab hand at drumming up hype, but none of that matters until the EV giant delivers its wares and gets paid for the trouble. That’s why investors keep a keen eye on delivery numbers. This time, the electric maverick wrangled 485,000 deliveries last quarter, a few thousand more than expected. But while the firm’s 1.8 million vehicle deliveries over the year were more than analysts predicted, the number fell well short of Musk’s own best-case projections. That may leave the head honcho a little deflated: Tesla’s trying to prove itself after its disappointing results from the quarter before, all while fending off very capable competition from Chinese EV makers.

Tesla deliveries
Source: Bloomberg

Why should I care?

For markets: Tesla versus Buffett’s backing.

Chinese carmaker BYD delivered over 520,000 EVs last quarter, pushing Tesla off its top spot. But it’s not just a seamless driving experience propelling BYD: the firm slashed prices toward the end of the year, enticing any EV-curious customers that were wary of usually high prices. And by selling almost as many vehicles in 2023 as it did over the previous five years combined, BYD proved that the Chinese market is the place to be. No wonder the company’s grabbed Warren Buffett’s attention.

Tesla vs BYD

Zooming out: Save the planet – for a price.

EVs don’t come cheap, but US initiatives used to let buyers claim up to $7,500 back in tax credits. But more than half of the EV models on the scheme have now lost their eligibility, all at a time when higher costs are forcing carmakers to inflate their price tags. So with folk facing their own financial woes, budget-conscious drivers may stay away from major brands like Tesla, Nissan, and General Motors.

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