Tesla 3Q California Car Registrations Slip 13% – Report


Tesla’s vehicle registrations recorded in California, its largest US market, suffered a 13% decline in the third quarter versus the same period last year, according to a Reuters report, which cited data from Cross-Sell.

On a quarter-to-quarter comparison, the data released on Monday showed registrations in California, a bellwether for the electric vehicle (EV) maker, recovered from a second-quarter low about 9,800 vehicles to around 16,200 vehicles in the three months ended September. Meanwhile, a large decline in Tesla’s (TSLA) Model 3 registrations during the third quarter pushed overall record registrations down 13% on a year-on-year basis, Cross-Sell data showed.

California registration for Tesla’s Model 3 mass-market sedan, which in the past made up more than half of total registrations, plunged 60% on a yearly basis to 6,500.

At nearly 7,300, registrations in the state for Tesla’s Model Y compact crossover utility vehicle exceeded those for the Model 3.

Total third-quarter vehicle registrations in the 23 states where data was collected and which Cross-Sell said account for 65% of the US market, remained almost the same as last year at around 32,800 vehicles.

Earlier this month, Tesla announced that it delivered 139,300 units in 3Q, which came ahead of analysts’ expectations of 137,000 units. Furthermore, the electric carmaker’s total production increased by 81.7% to 145,036 vehicles from 79,837 units in the year-ago quarter.

TSLA is up a whopping 415% so far this year, leaving analysts sidelined on the stock with a Hold consensus. The $333.65 average analyst price target now implies 23% downside potential in the shares over the coming 12 months.

Ahead of Tesla’s 3Q financial results on Wednesday, five-star analyst Daniel Ives at Wedbush this week ramped up the stock’s price target to $500 from $475, citing “underlying demand strength” and reiterated a Hold rating.

“Tesla’s improved manufacturing efficiency and shining Giga 3 success in China will be on full display later this week and lead to another strong bottom-line performance which should beat the Street,” Ives wrote in a note to investors. “We believe with a strong 4Q that Tesla will be on a pace to hit the 500k threshold as pent up China demand and pockets of strength within Europe remains the linchpin to the demand resurgence that Musk & Co. have seen over the past few quarters.” (See Tesla’s stock analysis on TipRanks)

“The overall EV market is still in the early days of playing out globally and Tesla is in a formidable position to maintain its leadership position despite competitors coming from every angle globally,” the analyst summed up.

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