Tesla lowers 2012 sales amid supply chain issues

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012 5:31:42 by

Electric car maker Tesla lowered its sales expectations for 2012 after the supply chain issues remained mainly unsolved.

Tesla makes plug-in electric vehicles mostly sports cars and now a luxury sedan called Model S. However, due to a demand of more sophisticated and mostly customized components, the supply chain has been disrupted, which eventually has affected their inventory.

“We confirmed with the company that the delays in production are largely due to supply chain issues,” Jefferies & Co. analyst Elaine Kwei said in a research note Tuesday. “These issues were initially discussed on the second-quarter earnings call, at which time CEO Elon Musk had commented on a ‘couple hundred’ knick-knacky items such as door handles that were still being sorted out with suppliers.”

The company cut its forecast sales for the current quarter to $44-$46 Million and the year’s sales 44 percent to $400-$440 Million. Its previous estimate for 2012 was between $560 Million and $600 Million.

Since its launch to date, Tesla has built 255 Model S cars, the company’s take on luxury vehicles in the EV market. Though the car is both technologically advanced and its cost effective in terms of consumption, the sophistication in the components is giving it a run for its money.

Experts had predicted such a day would come eventually. “As a brand new vehicle build, with significant amounts of new technology including an electric drivetrain and large in-dash touch-screen, supply chain and integration issues were largely to be expected,” Kwei said in the note.

On Monday CEO Musk introduced a new car under the Tesla banner that would churn power from sunlight. He said the new solar superchargers will power the vehicles at rest stops. Nine of such charging ports have been installed in California.

Tesla stock is down 3.15 percent this year but the company is still hopeful next year will run as normal. Their estimate for 2013 shipments still lies between 2,700 and 3,225 cars.

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