Tesla Delivers 386,810 Units in Q1 2024, and Its Days of Finished Goods Inventory Metric Explodes Despite Trying To Pull Forward the Demand

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Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) has just concluded one of its most challenging quarters on record, and it has the wounds to show for its monumental struggle, going so far as to try to pull forward the demand from upcoming quarters by unleashing price hikes that became effective at the turn of the month, all in a bid to compel buyers to lock in orders in Q1. Even so, Tesla has just recorded a quarter with negative year-over-year growth in deliveries.

Tesla has been throwing everything, including the proverbial kitchen sink, at its persistent anemic demand problem. Yet, the company continues to face stiff competition from BYD in China, resulting in a waning demand momentum. What’s more, Tesla is also contending with flattish sales momentum in Europe, aggravated by a recent damaging arson incident at Giga Berlin that halted production for a number of days, with repairs expected to cost around $100 million euros. Meanwhile, in the US, Tesla’s production has been hampered by the ongoing upgrades to its Fremont factory – a necessary pain point for ramping up the production of Model 3 Highland.

As we explained in a dedicated post, Tesla tried to implement a number of measures to improve its quarterly sales outlook. In order to get rid of elevated inventories at Giga Shanghai, the EV giant offered incentives worth $4,807 to buyers of the Model 3 sedan or the Model Y SUV.

Even though Tesla raised the price of the Model Y LR and RWD variants by $1,000 in the US on the 01st of March to alleviate some of the pressure on its margins, it countered this move by offering 5,000 free supercharging miles to customers in the US who bought a new Tesla vehicle by the 31st of March, 2024, essentially trying to pull forward demand from the upcoming quarters. Then, on the 16th of March, Tesla hinted at another $1,000 price hike for the Model Y in the US, translating this possibility into reality on the 01st of April.

In March, Tesla hiked the price of the Model Y in a number of key European countries by 2,000 Euros. However, the company discounted the newly launched Model 3 Highland by up to 10 percent in France.

Tesla Delivered 386,810 Units in Q1 2024

This brings us to the crux of the matter. Troy Teslike has been fairly accurate in estimating Tesla’s quarterly production numbers over the past few years. This time around, the Tesla enthusiast expected the EV giant to deliver just 409,000 units, far short of Tesla’s IR-compiled consensus estimate of 431,125 units.

Tesla Deliveries

Just moments ago, Tesla disclosed that it delivered 386,810 units in Q1 2024 against a production level of 433,371 units. This is the first time that Tesla has recorded a year-on-year contraction in quarterly deliveries since Q2 2020, which was the height of the pandemic-driven mayhem.

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Under the hood, note that Tesla’s inventory has materially increased in Q1 2024. At the end of Q4 2023, the company’s Days of Finished Goods Inventory metric stood at 15.0, based on an inventory level of around 96,901 units and an average daily delivery rate of 6,460.09 vehicles (assuming 75 working days in a quarter). For Q1 2024, Tesla’s Days of FG Inventory (also known as the Days of Supply metric) has increased to 27.82, based on a new inventory level of 143,462 units and an average daily delivery rate of 5,157.47.

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