The wait is finally over, and with such grand fanfare: Tesla's Q1 deliveries fell short of already extremely pessimistic estimates, with total deliveries coming in at just 63,000 vehicles and Model 3 deliveries coming in at a paltry 50,900.
To add insult to injury, the company said it expects the poor delivery number to negatively impact its Q1 net income:
Because of the lower than expected delivery volumes and several pricing adjustments, we expect Q1 net income to be negatively impacted.
The company's press release offered the following
bullshit excuses and carrot on a string for Q2 additional information:
Due to a massive increase in deliveries in Europe and China, which at times exceeded 5x that of prior peak delivery levels, and many challenges encountered for the first time, we had only delivered half of the entire quarter’s numbers by March 21, ten days before end of quarter. This caused a large number of vehicle deliveries to shift to the second quarter. At the end of the first quarter, approximately 10,600 vehicles were in transit to customers globally.
The original consensus, before being revised lower several times, was around 80,000 total vehicles for the quarter. Tesla's release came out at about 8:10pm EST or, said otherwise, about 10 minutes after extended hours trading ended. It was not coincidental as Elon Musk is all too aware of the power of rapid repricings in the illiquid afterhours market.
In keeping with the comedic theme of the release, the company also said it had "sufficient" cash on hand.
The immediate reaction from Twitter was fierce:
Remember, although the number looks horrible, the attention should be on NA drop. Any bull rationale of " $TSLA shift their focus to EU and China for a better future" is utterly bs. Elon had no other choice. EU and China will follow the same footstep as NA next quarter. $TSLAQ— Vu Nguyen (@vucanthi) April 4, 2019
Have fun in court tomorrow, Chief. pic.twitter.com/2eGx9P9UrA— Keubiko (@Keubiko) April 4, 2019
Does this sound credible? It's @ElonMusk on the $TSLA Q4 2018 earnings call, which took place on January 31, 2019. Most securities lawyers probably won't think so.— PlainSite (@PlainSite) April 4, 2019
Expect more lawsuits. pic.twitter.com/fWdYj97Lmo
The forecast for Tesla's Q1 was widely expected to be ugly, with headlines like "Get ready for a big drop in Tesla sales" even permeating mainstream news media, like CNN Business. Nearly every estimate had called for a roughly 40% sequential drop in total deliveries from Q4. These numbers turned out to not be negative enough.
CNBC's Phil Lebeau said on Wednesday morning that the street was expecting 55,100 Model 3 deliveries for the quarter, before he quickly changed the subject and directed the viewer's attention to the recently announced April 19 Autonomous Vehicle meeting that was "conveniently" announced right around Q1 delivery numbers. We're sure Lebeau will stay true to form and make excuses for Musk and Tesla missing these awful estimates, just as he has been doing in his recent reporting of Musk's screwups.
Regardless the Model 3 number, missing consensus estimates of 55,100 by nearly 10%, also fell well short of the 63,000 Model 3s that the company produced last quarter. They also fell short of analysts’ estimates of 58,900, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. Deliveries of all models fell 31 percent from the fourth quarter to 63,000 vehicles, including 12,100 Model S sedans and Model X SUVs, according to Bloomberg.
The company missed almost all other estimates:
RBC's Joseph Spak was looking for 52,500 Model 3 deliveries, down from his previous estimate of 57,000:
“Spak trimmed his Q1 2019 Model 3 delivery forecasts to 52,500. This number is 4,500 less than Spak’s previous estimates over what he cited as ‘meager demand’ for the electric sedan.”
Jeff Osborne at Cowen was looking for 47,500, down from previous estimates of 55,000:
“Analyst Jeff Osborne is lowering his Model 3 delivery forecast from 55,000 to 47,500. He also lowered his Model S and Model X delivery forecast from 21,500 to 18,000.”
Anton Wahlman, auto industry expert and prolific blogger on both Seeking Alpha and now The Street.com, predicted 60,828 total deliveries:
“The total quarterly unit estimate now stands at 60,828, which would be down 33% from Tesla’s Q4 2018 unit sales number of 90,966.”
Bloomberg had estimated 80,000 Models 3s produced for the quarter. CleanTechnica had hilariously estimated a "lower bound of 95,000 and an upper bound of 105,000 for total production this quarter".
Finally, Tesla reaffirmed one of its several prior guidances on the record of 360,000 to 400,000 vehicle deliveries in 2019.