Tesla’s Q4 electric vehicle deliveries reached a record 4,94,989, but fell behind Chinese auto giant BYD, which delivered 5,26,409 vehicles. Despite achieving its 2023 goal, Tesla lost its top EV maker title to BYD, which is backed by Warren Buffett. Susannah Streeter, from Hargreaves Lansdown, told Reuters that BYD’s success demonstrates the effectiveness of price cuts, which may impact both companies’ margins but help BYD gain market share.


Tesla’s year-end sales push and incentives

To increase sales before certain Model 3 sedans lose US federal tax credits in 2024, Tesla offered discounts and incentives like six months of free fast charging for December deliveries. This strategy led to an 11% growth over the previous quarter and surpassed the estimated 4,73,253 deliveries, according to 14 LSEG analysts. Tesla produced a record 4,94,989 vehicles in Q4 after a Q3 production halt, bringing the total 2023 production to 1.85 million units.


Rivian misses estimates; Ford and GM cautious on EV production

Rivian, a smaller competitor, reported lower-than-expected deliveries on Tuesday amid a general decline in EV demand. This has prompted US automakers like Ford and General Motors to reconsider their EV production plans. Gary Bradshaw, a portfolio manager at Tesla shareholder Hodges Capital, said Tesla’s delivery numbers are “much, much, much better than domestic US car companies.”


Concerns over Tesla’s Autopilot system and tax credits

Tesla is under regulatory scrutiny for its self-driving technology and recalled over 20 lakh vehicles last month to add new safeguards to its Autopilot system after safety concerns were raised. Consumer Reports claimed that the software update was insufficient in addressing misuse and driver inattention. Seth Goldstein, an equity strategist at Morningstar, suggested that Tesla may need to further reduce prices, particularly for Model 3 versions that lost their tax credit.