Tesla delivered 43% more of its electric cars in the third quarter of 2020 than over the same period in 2019. Thus, Elon Musk's group sold 139,300 cars to its customers between July and September, a little more than 137,000 expected by analysts polled by FactSet. Tesla, which has suffered like other automakers from the effects of the pandemic on the operation of its factories in the spring and on sales, has now delivered 318,350 cars since the start of the year.
Tesla share retreats
Elon Musk had initially set as a target the delivery of 500,000 vehicles in 2020. He said at the recent annual general meeting of the group that deliveries should be up 30% to 40% compared to last year , i.e. between 477,500 and 514,500 vehicles. To just get to the lower end of the forecast, Tesla would need to deliver 159,400 vehicles in the fourth quarter. "We can now decently say that it is unlikely that the company will reach its target of half a million vehicles delivered this year," notes Nick Shields, analyst at Third Bridge. The share of the group, which also produced 145,036 cars in the third quarter, fell 5.5% in mid-session on Wall Street.
Ford resists better than General Motors
Ford, on the other hand, sold 551,796 new vehicles in the United States over the same period. This is certainly down 4.9% compared to the same period in 2019. But General Motors and FCA US (ex-Chrysler) said Thursday that they recorded a 10% decline in their sales over the same period. The group could still count on its largest vehicles: sales of pick-ups (F-Series and Ranger), vans (Transit) and trucks rose 0.6%. Sales of city 4 x 4s or SUVs (Escape, Explorer, etc.) also held up well, falling only 0.7%. Sales of small cars (city cars) and sedans (Fiesta, Fusion, Mustang) plunged 37.5%.
Investors bet on electricity
The auto market suffered greatly at the start of the pandemic, which crippled the US economy and confined households to their homes. But the market has gradually recovered. From July to September, Ford sales jumped 27% from the previous quarter. Its stock rose 1.9% on Wall Street. The group is worth $ 27 billion on the New York Stock Exchange, while Tesla is worth $ 392 billion. Even though Elon Musk's company produces far fewer cars than traditional manufacturers, investors are betting heavily on electrics, considered the future of the automobile.