Tesla delivered a record number of cars last year, as sales continued to grow by percentages any other major automaker would dream about. But Tesla still managed to disappoint Wall Street throughout 2022 – and the last quarter was no different.
The electric automaker delivered 1.3 million vehicles in 2022, up 40% from 2021. It produced nearly 1.4 million vehicles, up 47% from the prior year.
Yet the fourth quarter underwhelmed: Tesla delivered only 405,278 vehicles, well below the median estimate of 431,000 according to analysts polled by Refinitiv, as recession fears and higher interest rates led to a slowdown in demand.
Although 40% growth is nothing to sneeze at, Tesla’s pace of growth is slowing. Deliveries nearly doubled in 2021 and more than quadrupled in 2020.
(TSLA) stock plunged 65% in 2022 as demand weakened. Competition in electric vehicles from established automakers surged last year. The company missed its growth targets throughout the year and it scaled back production in China.
Evidence of car buyers’ sinking interest in Teslas became apparent last month after the company announced a rare sale in a bid to clear out inventory. Tesla offered two rebates for buyers taking delivery of a vehicle before the end of the year, initially offering a $3,750 discount then doubling the rebate to $7,500 with two weeks left in 2022.
Investors were rattled by the rebates, sending the stock plunging 37% in December alone.
Tesla thanked customers and employees for helping the company “achieve a great 2022 in light of significant Covid and supply chain related challenges throughout the year,” according to a statement released on Monday.
The company also said it was proud of its growth and progress.
“We continued to transition towards a more even regional mix of vehicle builds which again led to a further increase in cars in transit at the end of the quarter,” the statement read.
Tesla said it delivered 1.25 million of its less-expensive Model 3 and Model Y electric cars, and nearly 67,000 of its higher-end Model X and Model X lines.