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Tesla shares plunge further on weaker-than-expected sales

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Tesla announced record sales of 1.3 million vehicles in 2022, up 40% from the 2021 total, but well below the 50% growth target the company had set for the beginning of the year. While it had previously warned it would miss the lofty full-year target, its fourth-quarter sales of 405,278 cars were much weaker than expected. It represented growth of just 31% from the previous year and was well below the median estimate of 431,000 according to analysts polled by Refinitiv.

The company’s shares ended 2022 down 65% for the year, which significantly reduced Musk’s net worth and caused him to lose his position as the world’s richest person. It was the worst year ever for Tesla shares, which gained 743% in 2020 and another 50% in 2021.

The drop in sales came despite the company’s two price cuts in December for US buyers who finalized their purchase at the end of the year. The fact that global sales were well below the 439,000 cars built during the period raised further concerns that demand for Tesla cars was weakening in the face of numerous headwinds. These include higher interest rates, increased competition between established automakers and upstart EV makers, and backlash against Tesla CEO Elon Musk since his controversial takeover. from Twitter at the start of the quarter.

“Overall demand is starting to crack a bit for Tesla and the company will have to adjust and cut prices, especially in China, which remains key to growth,” said Dan Ives, technology analyst for Wedbush Securities. “Cinderella’s ride is over for Tesla.”

— CNN’s David Goldman contributed to this report

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