Tesla news: Missed delivery target; Elon Musk lashes out about fatal crash

For Tesla, the hits keep coming.

On the heels of the news last week that the first known U.S. fatality in a vehicle with autonomous technology occurred in a Tesla Model S in May, the electric-car company reported over the weekend that it delivered fewer vehicles in the second quarter than it did in the first quarter, missing its forecast and revising its delivery estimates for the year.

It’s the second quarter in a row that the Palo Alto company has missed its delivery forecast. In April, when it missed its first-quarter target, it cited “hubris” — it said it included too much new technology in its vehicles — that contributed to parts shortages. This time around, Tesla Motors’ reason, according to its filing: “the extreme production ramp in Q2 and the high mix of customer-ordered vehicles still on trucks and ships at the end of the quarter.”

In the second quarter, Tesla delivered 14, 370 vehicles, compared with 14,820 in the first quarter. The company had projected 17,000 deliveries. It said in its filing that there are 5,150 vehicles still in transit, which it expects to deliver early in the third quarter.

Tesla also lowered its estimate of deliveries in the second half of the year, to 50,000, meaning its full-year deliveries would fall short of the 80,000 to 90,000 vehicles it forecast in April.

Shares of Tesla are down nearly 3 percent to about $210.15 amid a broader stock market decline.

Other things weighing down the stock: The aforementioned fatal accident, which the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is now investigating. And Tesla’s recent bid for SolarCity, which is raising concerns about Tesla’s cash flow and debt. As Rex Crum wrote last week, Tesla CEO Elon Musk hadn’t had a very good June.

Musk is fighting back against the increasing pressure, tweeting today about a Fortune article that quotes him as saying the fatal accident “is not material to the value of Tesla.” The article looked at the timing of the release of the news of the accident, which occurred on May 7 but wasn’t disclosed by the NHTSA until last week. In the meantime, Tesla raised money in a stock offering in mid-May.

 

Photo: A closeup of the Tesla logo on a Model S. (Dai Sugano/Mercury News)

 

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  • disqus_wXEnzlLfv6

    The reporter asked a valid question. He didn’t convince anyone or make any new friends with the press. The board need to take this man/child’s twitter account away before he does any further damage to this company.

  • Nancy Fancy

    Good on Carol and Fortune. Does Mr. Musk remind anyone of Mr. Skilling?

  • David Moore

    This is feeling like a very slippery slope. Musk should do nothing more than offer sympathy and instead he looks like he’s defending his technology despite a loss of life from someone in his vehicle. Board better pull in the reigns.

  • David Moore

    This is feeling like a very slippery slope. Musk should do nothing more than offer sympathy and instead he looks like he’s defending his technology despite a loss of life of someone in his vehicle. Board better pull in the reigns.

  • Karl Rowley

    Elon is acting like a baby. Can he change course or is it a little too late?

 
 
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