Tesla Sets Deliveries Record While Falling Short of Elon Musk’s Mark

Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg News

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Tesla Inc. set another record for quarterly vehicle deliveries but fell short of a mark Elon Musk said was possible last week, sending the electric carmaker’s shares lower in late trading.

The electric carmaker handed over 97,000 vehicles to customers in the third quarter, exceeding the 95,356 reported for the prior three months. Musk told employees Sept. 26 they had a shot at reaching the six-figure mark for the first time. Tesla shares plunged as much as 5.8% after the close.

Tesla delivered 79,600 Model 3 sedans and 17,400 Model S cars and Model X crossovers in the quarter. Analysts were warning ahead of the report that because the company has grown more reliant on its much cheaper sedan to grow, total average selling prices probably declined and may have dragged revenue down from a year ago. The carmaker, which last reported a decline in 2012, will release earnings in the coming weeks.

Going into the quarter, Tesla said its order backlog was expanding. It announced in July it would no longer disclose the number of vehicles in transit to customers every three months.

Tesla doesn’t disclose deliveries by region, but the U.S., China, Norway and the Netherlands were its biggest sources of revenue in the second quarter.

That pecking order may have changed in the latest three-month period. Tesla topped the Dutch sales charts last month, boosted by tax incentives that can save drivers several hundreds of euros a month on vehicle leases. The government plans to dial back some of those subsidies next year.

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