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Tesla’s stock (TSLA) is down following misleading report about European ‘sales’


Tesla’s stock (TSLA) rallied last week following comments by Ron Baron. The rally didn’t last long after rumors of a potential problem with Tesla’s suspension started to spread quickly at the end of last week.

While the rumors have been mostly shut down at this point, Tesla’s stock is having difficulty recovering and a new report about the automaker’s sales in Europe is not helping.

The Automotive Industry Data (AID) group released its latest newsletter and disclosed that “Tesla’s West European sales totaled just 520 units in May”, down -48% compared to the same period last year.

The report is misleading because the group is referring to “sales” when it actually means deliveries or registrations.

Tesla’s volumes rose and the stock price fell about 2% right after AID released its report and sent out this tweet to highlight Tesla’s performance:

Tesla doesn’t operate a network of dealerships with large inventories sitting in parking lots. Most of the vehicles the company sells are made-to-order. Therefore, it creates a few weeks – sometimes months – of delays between a sale and a delivery.

Since AID is working off registration data, the number represents deliveries a lot better than it represents sales. There’s really no way to know how many vehicles Tesla sold in Europe last month – we asked Tesla if they wanted to release the number in order to correct AID’s report, but the company very rarely release sales data, especially over short periods of time (like one month), and instead focuses on production and delivery numbers. We will update if we get an answer.

tesla model s deliveries europe may 2015 2016To be clear, we are not challenging AID’s deliveries numbers, but we are just saying that they are deliveries and not sales – like the group is claiming.

Our own delivery numbers based on registration data in Europe (see on the right) show that they are down in May across the continent, but there are so many things that can affect deliveries that it’s not really meaningful.

Tesla manufactures vehicles in batches for specific regions based on requirements. Those vehicles end up in transit at the same time and therefore, deliveries will depend on the transit schedule.

It’s better to look at Tesla’s deliveries per region on longer periods of time – at least quarterly. Something we do each quarter:

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Avatar for Fred Lambert Fred Lambert

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