Tesla Quarterly Sales Fall as Battery Supply Crimps Output

Tesla Inc. delivered just enough vehicles in the second quarter to meet its first-half sales guidance, with production slowed by a temporary shortage of battery packs.

The maker of electric cars and energy-storage devices shipped more than 22,000 cars and SUVs in the period, compared to a record 25,051 vehicles in the first quarter, according to a company statement. With the results released Monday, Tesla’s first-half sales were at the lower end of its prediction of 47,000 to 50,000 units.

“The major factor affecting Tesla’s Q2 deliveries was a severe production shortfall of 100 kWh battery packs, which are made using new technologies on new production lines,” Tesla said in the statement.

“Initial production ramp for the Model 3 looks like it may be better than expected — but investors should continue to focus on whether the Model 3 can be produced profitably and with strong initial quality,” Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi wrote in a note to clients Monday.

Part Deux

Tesla first unveiled the Model 3 in March 2016 at a late night party at the company’s design studio in Hawthorne, California. The company’s vast fan base has been eagerly anticipating “Part Deux” of the reveal, which is expected to include more details about autonomous driving features.

The company reported last spring that 373,000 people have placed $1,000 deposits for the vehicle and hasn’t given an updated reservation figure in the year since. Model 3 reservations “skew young and urban,” Jon McNeill, Tesla’s president of global sales and service, said last year. The first Model 3s are expected to go to employees of Tesla and SpaceX, Musk’s space exploration company.

Tesla, which releases global sales figures quarterly instead of monthly like other carmakers, does not break out where customers are located. The company said last month it’s working with the Shanghai government to explore local manufacturing in China, where electric-vehicle demand has been on the rise. Chinese Internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. took a 5 percent stake in Tesla in March.

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