Tesla misses delivery forecast again, blames short-term production challenges

Electric car maker falls short of 80,000-vehicle annual target, despite posting 64 per cent increase in production

PALO ALTO, Calif.—With the Model 3 launch looming on the horizon, Telsa Motors Inc. has again missed its own delivery forecast.

The electric vehicle maker shipped 22,200 vehicles in the fourth quarter of 2016, bringing its total to 76,230 for the year. The Elon Musk-headed firm said earlier this year it planned to delivery 25,000 vehicles in the last three months of the year and at least 80,000 throughout 2016.

Tesla blamed “short-term production challenges” between late October and early December for the miss, but noted that it did meet its production target.

“We were ultimately able to recover and hit our production goal, but the delay in production resulted in challenges that impacted quarterly deliveries, including, among other things, cars missing shipping cutoffs for Europe and Asia,” the company said in a statement.

Though not all vehicles reached buyers, the company said it manufactured 24,882 vehicles in Q4 and 83,922 vehicles in 2016, up 64 per cent from 2015.

In a year that saw widespread interest in Tesla’s cheaper upcoming Model 3—more than a quarter-million customers pre-ordered the electric sedan—the automaker said net orders for its Model S and X were also at all-time highs.

Still, auto analysts have remained skeptical about Tesla’s move to the mainstream. The latest delivery miss, far from Tesla’s first, does little to lessen concerns.