Tesla sinks as price cuts signal a ceiling for costlier models

Model 3					Tesla adjusts Model 3 prices amid lowered $3,750 federal tax credit

Model 3 Tesla adjusts Model 3 prices amid lowered $3,750 federal tax credit

Tesla said fourth-quarter deliveries were 8 percent higher than its previous quarterly peak in the third quarter of 2018.

Overall, total production rose 8% to 86,555 vehicles.The company churned out 61,394 Model 3s, up from a total of 53,239 Model 3s in the third quarter.

Tesla also produced a total of 25,161 Model S and X, which is consistent with its long-term run rate of around 100,000 units per year. Tesla announced today that it is now dropping the price of that particular Model 3 by $2,000, bringing it to $44,000.

The new pricing structure means that the cheapest version of the Model 3 is now $44,000 ($45,200 including mandatory destination and documentation fees). Expansion of Model 3 sales to other markets, including with a right-hand drive variant, will occur later in 2019.

But while Tesla boosted the total number of vehicles it manufactured in the quarter by ~8 percent, it came in below Wall Street expectations and does not appear to have quite maintained its target 5,000 vehicles/week production target for the Model 3.

FactSet, which compiled an average estimate from nine analysts, projected that Tesla would deliver 2000 more vehicles than it did, including 1750 more Model 3 vehicles.

Tesla Inc shares sank 8 per cent on Wednesday after the electric auto maker delivered fewer-than-expected Model 3 sedans in the fourth quarter and cut prices for all its vehicles in the United States in response to the loss of a green tax credit.

Tesla disappointed investors Wednesday after announcing that it delivered 90,700 vehicles during the fourth quarter, more than 2,000 vehicles short of what Wall Street analysts expected. During morning trading, stocks fell almost 8.7 percent from Tuesday's closing of $332.80, sliding to a floor of $303.96. Despite the increase, shareholders felt a certain unsteadiness as stock prices declined and investors expressed their disappointment over failed expectations to close out the year.

"The price cut is what's driving the stock lower, as it openly acknowledges the sunset of subsidy dollars is a material headwind", said Craig Irwin, an analyst with Roth Capital Partners. I don't expect that Tesla operates in the black in 2019, ' Frank Schwope, an analyst with NORD/LB said. The federal government only offers the tax credit to companies that have sold fewer than 200,000 plug-in vehicles.

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