WASHINGTON – Tesla Motors shipped fewer autos to customers in the past three months, making it unlikely to meet prior expectations for delivering 80,000 to 90,000 vehicles this year.
The California-based maker of electric autos said Sunday that it delivered 14,370 vehicles in the April-June quarter, a decline of 450 vehicles from the first quarter that Tesla attributed to an “extreme production ramp up” and a number of custom-ordered vehicles still being shipped. Tesla said it anticipates delivering 50,000 vehicles in the second half of the year. While that second-half target would match its vehicle deliveries for all of 2015, it would still be just shy of the guidance provided by the company in April.
The revised expectations arrive at a delicate moment for Tesla, which has excited drivers and investors alike by the promise of gasoline-free autos. But it now faces some wariness after a crash that appears to have resulted from its automated driving system.
The company drew scrutiny last week as details emerged about the death of a driver using Tesla’s semi-autonomous mode.
Joshua D. Brown of Canton, Ohio, died in the accident May 7 in Williston, Florida, when his Tesla Model S failed to automatically activate its brakes and crashed into a tractor-trailer.
Tesla’s shares dropped 3 per cent in after-hours trading after the government said it would investigate the crash.
And late last month, Tesla founder and chief executive Elon Musk announced plans to spend up to $2.8 billion buying solar panel maker SolarCity, a separate company he founded and for which he serves as chairman of the board. Investors appear to dislike the all-stock bid as Tesla’s shares dropped after the announcement.
In the past three months, Tesla stock has fallen 13 per cent to $216.50.