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Tesla deliveries miss estimates, delayed by logistics snap

Worldwide deliveries from Tesla Inc. missed the forecasts in the third quarter and the company warned of challenges.

Worldwide deliveries from Tesla Inc. missed forecasts in the third quarter and the company warned of challenges getting its cars to customers, suggesting the supply chain remains a scourge.

It delivered a record 343,830 cars in the third quarter. Analysts had expected nearly 358,000 vehicles to be shipped, based on Bloomberg estimates.

“Historically, our delivery volumes have skewed toward the end of each quarter due to regional batch production of cars,” Austin, Texas, Tesla said in a statement. “As our production volumes continue to grow, it is becoming increasingly challenging to secure vehicle transport capacity and at reasonable cost during these peak logistics weeks.”

Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk said on Twitter that he is aiming for “more stable” deliveries between quarters, adding that the customer experience is suffering from a quarter-end rush.

Quarterly deliveries are among the most closely monitored indicators for Tesla as they support the automaker’s financial results. While both old automakers and newcomers are bringing more EVs to market, Tesla has been at the forefront of the battle for battery-powered cars since the first Model S sedans were delivered to customers a decade ago.

Tesla had said the number of deliveries is conservative and the final numbers could vary by 0.5% or more. The company produced 365,923 vehicles this quarter.

Tesla began to switch to a “more even regional mix” of car production, leading to an increase in the number of cars in transit at the end of the quarter. “These cars have been ordered and will be delivered to customers upon arrival at their destination,” the company said on Sunday.

The automaker doesn’t divide sales by geography, but the US and China are the largest markets, and the overwhelming number of sales were from the Model 3 sedan and Y-crossover.

Tesla makes the Model S, X, 3 and Y models at its factory in Fremont, California. It makes the newer Model 3 and Y at its factory near Shanghai. Tesla has recently started supplying Model Ys from its newest plants in Berlin and Austin.

Shares of some Tesla suppliers in Asia fell Monday, though stock markets in China and South Korea were closed, both home to major electric car battery manufacturers and EV suppliers. Panasonic Holdings Corp. in Japan fell as much as 0.8% before recovering, while Taiwan’s Cheng Uei Precision Industry Co., which makes connectors and power packs, collapsed a whopping 2.8%.

The delivery figures come on the heels of Tesla’s “AI day” late Friday night, which was largely a recruiting event. Musk showed off a prototype humanoid robot that walked and waved its hand to demonstrate Tesla’s advancements in artificial intelligence.

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