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Tesla Retakes EV Sales Title Despite Disappointing Q1

Key Takeaways

  • Tesla delivered 386,810 vehicles this quarter – fewer than last quarter and fewer than the same time last year.
  • This is the first time since Q3 of 2022 that it has delivered under 400,000 units in a quarter.
  • Despite the sales drop, Tesla reclaimed its spot as the top EV seller in the world, displacing Chinese automaker BYD.

Tesla delivered 386,810 vehicles this quarter, which marks a drop of almost 100,000 units from the fourth quarter of 2023. It’s also a year-on-year sales drop compared to the 422,875 units sold in the first quarter of 2023.

In addition, this is the first time Tesla has had fewer deliveries than the same period in the previous year since back in 2020. And you have to go back to the third quarter of 2022 to find the last time the company delivered less than 400,000 vehicles in a quarter.

Tesla

Production Problems

Tesla pointed to multiple reasons for its sales decline. On the list was the production ramp-up at its Fremont facility for the updated Model 3. There were also shutdowns due to shipping issues in the Red Sea and arson at its Gigafactory in Berlin, Germany.

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Competition is getting stiffer for Tesla, too, as the number of solid electric vehicles on the market worldwide continues to increase. Affordability is also a big factor as companies reduce pricing to entice consumers. Ford recently lowered the price of both its Mustang Mach-E and F-150 Lightning amid slow sales.

Tesla Model 3 Front
Tesla

Some Good News

That’s a lot of negative news, but there is one piece of positive news amid the Q1 sales figures. Tesla may have sold fewer vehicles than expected, but it did sell enough to take back the crown as the world’s biggest EV seller.

It stole the title back from Chinese automaker BYD, which had a rough quarter of its own. The company sold 300,114 electrified vehicles in the first quarter of the year, a marked drop from the 526,409 units in the last quarter when its sales sent it surging past Tesla. The EV market is an unsettled one. While Tesla sits at the top of the heap once again, it will have to work hard to hold that title for long.

Tesla Model 3 Driving
Tesla

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