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Ho-Hum Response to Tesla Miss

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Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) reported new electric vehicle (EV) deliveries of 435,059 and production of 4430,488 vehicles in the third quarter of 2023. Deliveries were down 6.7% sequentially but up 18.9% year over year.

While total deliveries were also a miss compared to estimates of around 455,000, the company’s share price saw a small gain of about 0.8% Monday morning. Tesla attributed the decline to planned factory downtime.

Tesla reaffirmed its earlier target for deliveries totaling 1.8 million units for the full year, indicating that it is looking to sell some 476,000 vehicles in the fourth quarter.

Now, the questions begin. Is the company suffering from softening demand? Will it continue to reduce prices, cutting into its profits and making investors unhappy? Tesla said it will report third-quarter financial results after U.S. markets close on Wednesday, October 18.

Three China-based EV makers, Nio Inc. (NYSE: NIO), Li Auto Inc. (NASDAQ: LI) and Xpeng Inc. (NYSE: XPEV), have reported combined deliveries of 66,831 units in September for a quarterly total of about 200,000. Li Auto delivered more than half that total (105,108), while Nio reported deliveries of 55,432 for the quarter and Xpeng claimed 40,008.

Another Tesla competitor, Rivian Automotive Inc. (NASDAQ: RIVN) reported third-quarter deliveries of 15,564 units, up 16.5% sequentially, and said it remains on target to deliver 52,000 vehicles in 2023.

The promised third-quarter launch of Tesla’s Cybertruck did not materialize. Cybertruck was originally due in 2021, but the date keeps getting pushed out. CEO Elon Musk’s last comment on a launch date for the new vehicle only included a statement that delivery would begin this year.

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