Tesla reports largest sales drop in its history as shares plummet

Tesla shares have dive-bombed as much as nine per cent this morning as the electric car maker revealed the largest decline in deliveries in its history.

In the three months to the end of March, Tesla saw car total car deliveries drop just over 30 per cent from 90,996 in the previous quarter to 63,000 in the start of 2019.

Its flagship Model 3, which it first released in 2017 followed by a far cheaper standard model it hopes to break the mass market released last month, failed to meet sales expectations in the first quarter sparking concern among investors.

Model 3 sales in the first quarter came in at 50,900, missing average analyst’ expectations of 51,750 and marking a decline on the previous two quarters.

READ MORE: Tesla will only shut stores which are “empty most of the day”

Despite this Tesla reportedly had 10,600 vehicles in transit at the end of March as sales of the new Model 3 began in Europe and China, more than three times the amount being shipped in the previous quarter.

Its recent launch into new markets is a potential lifeline for the company, which is facing falling demand in the US after federal tax credits for electronic vehicles were cut in half at the start of 2019.

Tesla has also stood firm on its forecast outlook for 2019, remaining unchanged at between 360,000 and 400,000, suggesting demand is still high.

This follows an announcement at the start of March in which Tesla said it would be shutting all of its stores and move sales entirely online, in order to keep the costs of its new Model 3 as low as possible, and reduce the price of other models by six per cent.

Just over a week later, after around $8 billion had been wiped of the company’s market value, Tesla made a dramatic U-turn stating that half of its stores would now remain open and the prices of its cars would be reduced by three per cent instead of six.

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