Published: Tue, April 04, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Elon Musk trolls Tesla short sellers

During the quarter, the Model S sedan remained the best-selling electric vehicle with total deliveries of 13,450.

The news is a sudden rebound for the electric vehicle maker by Elon Musk, late past year the business struggled with production problems and saw a nine per cent fall in deliveries during the fourth quarter.

The Model X was well received by reviewers on launch, but was plagued with bugs, most notably with its falcon doors.

The company noted that about 4,650 vehicles were in transit to customers at the end of the quarter. Tesla also estimates that it will be able to deliver up to 50,000 vehicles by the first half of the year. The delivery count only includes a vehicle if it's transferred to the customer and all paperwork is correct.

While Tesla's year-over-year growth for vehicle deliveries during its first quarter is impressive, growth doesn't look as hot when viewed over the last three quarters.

The Model S remains Tesla's top seller, but once Model 3 production hits its stride, that's going to change.

Meanwhile, Tesla found support last week when Tencent acquired 5% stake in Tesla worth $1.8 billion, according to the recent USA regulatory filing.

A Gigafactory created by Tesla and Panasonic is cranking out lithium-ion battery cells to be used in energy storage products and the Model 3, the carmaker says on its website. It's discontinuing a low-end Model S with its 60kWh battery pack on 17 April, making the 75kWh Model S its cheapest auto at $74 500 before tax credits or state rebates until the Model 3 arrives. Tesla releases global sales figures quarterly, instead of the monthly country-by-country results typically announced by other auto makers. As expected, the Model S outdelivered the Model X, but only by a small margin: 13,450 vs. 11,550 vehicles. Year-to-date, TSLA has gained 30.24%, versus a 5.46% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period. The stock was at the time worth close to US$1.8 bn.

In the quarter, Tesla delivered around 25,000 vehicles. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Tesla.

In 2016, the company targeted to deliver 80,000 cars while delivering 76,230 vehicles.

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