Palo Alto, California - Tesla shares plunged on Wednesday after it reported fewer car deliveries in the fourth quarter than expected.
The high-flying electric carmaker, led by Elon Musk, delivered 90 700 vehicles in the fourth quarter, a bit below the 91 000 expected by analysts, even as deliveries jumped overall compared to the year-ago period.
Tesla delivered 245 240 vehicles in total for all of 2018, more than twice the number from the prior year. More than half, or 145 846, were Model 3 sedans, a car aimed at the middle market that Tesla hopes will push electric cars into the mainstream.
But deliveries of the Model 3 also came in a bit below expectations.
Tesla described its production ramp-up of the Model 3 as "likely" qualifying as "the biggest single-year growth in the history of the automotive industry," with the rate jumping from 120 000 vehicles per year early in 2018 to 350 000 per year at the end of the year.