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Tesla emerged as the world’s leading electric carmaker

Tesla has once again emerged as the world’s leading electric carmaker, despite a significant decline in sales during the first quarter of 2024. The American electric carmaker announced that it delivered 386,810 vehicles globally from January to March, representing a nearly 9% decrease compared to the same period in 2023 when it sold 423,000 units.

However, Tesla’s sales figures fell short of analysts’ expectations, with FactSet anticipating 457,000 vehicle deliveries from the company, marking a shortfall of over 15%. Consequently, Tesla’s shares experienced a 7% drop following the announcement.

Tesla attributed the sales decline to several factors, including the introduction of the updated Model 3 at its Fremont, California factory, temporary plant shutdowns due to shipping disruptions in the Red Sea, and an arson attack that disrupted operations at its German factory.

In its investor letter from January, Tesla had foreseen “notably lower” sales growth for the year, citing transitional periods between major growth waves driven by global expansion of existing models and the anticipation of the Model 2, a smaller and more affordable vehicle with an uncertain release date.

Last year, Tesla significantly reduced prices by up to $20,000 for some models, and in March, it offered a temporary $1,000 discount on its top-selling Model Y. However, these price adjustments led to narrowed profit margins, causing concern among investors. Consequently, Tesla’s stock value has dropped by approximately 34% since the beginning of the year, as investors became cautious about the company’s rapid growth trajectory.

Despite the sales slump and investor apprehensions, Tesla’s performance in the first quarter was robust enough to reclaim its top position in the EV sales charts. BYD, which had surpassed Tesla in the final quarter of 2023, experienced a 43% decrease in electric vehicle deliveries in the first quarter of 2024, falling behind Tesla with only 300,114 units delivered. This shift pushed BYD into second place in the rankings.

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