Tesla beats second-quarter delivery estimates as price cuts pay off


(Reuters) -Tesla Inc on Sunday said it delivered a record number of vehicles in the second quarter, topping market estimates as price cuts and U.S. federal credits helped make its electric vehicles more affordable.

The Elon Musk-led company handed 466,140 vehicles in the April to June period, up 10% from the preceding quarter, and 83% higher from a year earlier.

Analysts on average had expected Tesla to deliver 445,000 cars, according to nine analysts polled by Refinitiv, with the lowest estimate at 439,875 and highest at 450,000.

The world’s most valuable automaker produced 13,560 more vehicles than it delivered in the second quarter, although the gap has narrowed from 17,933 the first quarter.

“The price cuts was a smart poker move for Tesla and paying major dividends in the field especially for the China market,” Dan Ives, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, said.

Tesla is expected to hit record sales in China, its second-largest market after North America, despite stiff competition from market leader BYD.

“We believe margins will trough the next few quarters,” Ives added.

Tesla has cut prices starting in China since late last year, eroding its first-quarter margins. Tesla boss Elon Musk in April doubled down on the price war, saying the electric vehicle (EV) maker would prioritize sales growth ahead of profit in a weak economy and rising competition.

It has since increased discounts across all of its line-ups, in a move seen to reduce inventory, while making all of its Model 3s eligible for full federal credits of $7,500 starting in June in the United States.

The company delivered 446,915 Model 3 compact cars and Model Y sport-utility vehicle, as well as 19,225 of its Model S and Model X premium vehicles.

Meanwhile, the electric-vehicle pioneer has notched up a series of wins in the EV fast-charging space with companies such as Ford Motor and General Motors, as well as fast-charging equipment makers agreeing to adopt the firm’s North American Charging Standard (NACS).

(Reporting by Akash Sriram, Shivani Tanna in Bengaluru and Hyun Joo Jin; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila, Lisa Shumaker and Chizu Nomiyama)

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