Tesla Motors Inc. delivered 14,370 vehicles in the second quarter, missing its forecast of 17,000 because of what it called an “extreme production ramp” that saw half of the quarter’s output come in the final four weeks.
The maker of electric cars and energy storage devices now expects to deliver about 50,000 cars in the second half, according to a statement Sunday. That means 79,180 Model S sedans and Model X crossovers will be shipped for the full year, slightly below its previous range of 80,000 to 90,000.
Even after increasing production, the company has had trouble getting vehicles to customers fast enough to meet its targets. Tesla said that 5,150 cars are still on trucks and ships making their way to clients who ordered them, and will be delivered in the first part of the third quarter.
The company's shares closed down $2.52, or 1.16 percent, at $213.98 in Nasdaq trading Tuesday in New York.
“Tesla’s ongoing difficulty in managing launch and production of its vehicles reinforces our concerns around its ability to launch the Model 3 well and reach its pulled-forward goal of 500,000 deliveries in 2018,” Emmanuel Rosner, an analyst with CLSA, wrote in note to clients.
Tesla is ramping up output at its Fremont, Calif., factory with an eye toward making 500,000 cars a year by 2018 -- an ambitious timeline that also depends on the carmaker’s battery factory east of Reno, Nev., coming online with battery cell production.
Tesla said it delivered 9,745 Model S vehicles and 4,625 Model X vehicles in the second quarter. The smaller, less-expensive Model 3, which is slated to start at $35,000 before incentives, is scheduled to begin deliveries in late 2017.
It’s the second time in a row that the carmaker’s deliveries come in short this year. In the first quarter, Tesla blamed the shortfall on what it called “hubris” in adding too much new technology that led to part shortages for the Model X.
On Thursday, U.S. regulators began a preliminary investigation into a fatal May crash involving a Model S that had Tesla’s “Autopilot” feature engaged. Tesla said that the crash was the first known fatality in more than 130 million miles of Autopilot driving and that the feature, disabled by default in the cars, requires explicit acknowledgment by drivers who enable it that the system is new technology still in testing. At least 70,000 Tesla vehicles worldwide have the Autopilot feature, and the fatal crash has drawn renewed attention to the debate over what kind of guidelines the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration should set regarding semi-autonomous and self-driving cars on U.S. roads.
Tesla is also contending with investor fallout after its $2.86 billion all-stock offer to acquire SolarCity Corp. last month. Tesla CEO Elon Musk is SolarCity’s chairman and largest shareholder.
The second-quarter deliveries tally is preliminary and may change slightly in August when the company reports earnings for the period. Tesla counts a vehicle as delivered if it’s transferred to the buyer and all paperwork is correct. The company releases global sales figures quarterly, instead of the monthly country-by-country results typically disclosed by other automakers.