Tesla Falls Short on Car Deliveries

Elon Musk

Production issues are again raising questions about Tesla’s (TSLA) ability to transform itself into a high-volume manufacturer. The electric car company said in a holiday weekend release that it delivered 14,370 vehicles during the second quarter of 2016,  missing its own forecast of 17,000 vehicles.

The California-based company blamed an “extreme” production ramp that led to almost half of the quarter’s vehicles being made in the last four weeks. The production included nearly 10,000 Model S cars and the remainder were Model Xs, Tesla said.

Tesla also said it expects to deliver 50,000 vehicles in the second half of the year, suggesting a total number of over 79,100 vehicles. That’s below the company’s prior guidance for delivering 80,000 to 90,000 vehicles this year.

Tesla’s Q2 deliveries report comes after the automaker confirmed the NHTSA has opened a preliminary investigation into 25,000 Tesla Motors Model S cars after a driver of one of the vehicles was killed using the Autopilot mode. The agency said the crash came in a 2015 Model S operating with automated driving systems engaged.

Despite some concerns that the accident could hurt Tesla’s image and the prospects for self-driving technology with regulators and ordinary drivers, Tesla stock gained more 4 points on Friday to end the day at $216.50. The stock began trading at $206.50 and it got intraday as high as $218.24.

While Tesla shares have declined 12.34% in the past three months, over the past 5 trading sessions the stock has jumped more than 12%. That said, TSLA is down 22.68% year-over-year and about 10% year-to-date.

Investors have taken a critical view of the company’s prospects since it announced a deal to acquire beleaguered solar energy project contractor SolarCity (SCTY), another company founded by Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

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