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Tesla filing shows US sales tumbled 39% in third quarter

This is the company’s first drop in more than two years.
US sales, which account for the biggest share of Tesla's total revenue, fell to $3.13bn but sales in China and other regions increased. Image:Mark Kauzlarich, Bloomberg

Tesla’s third-quarter revenue tumbled 39% in the United States, its first drop in more than two years, but sales in China and other regions surged, the electric car maker’s break down of sales by geography showed on Tuesday.

US sales, which account for the biggest share of the company’s total revenue, fell to $3.13 billion from $5.13 billion a year earlier.

Sales in China rose 64% to $669 million and its other segment, which covers the rest of the globe, rose by more than a billion dollars to $1.83 billion, a regulatory filing showed.

In its earnings report earlier this month, Tesla reported a nearly 8% drop in total revenue to $6.30 billion, missing analysts’ average estimate of $6.33 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. It did not break down sales by geography in the report.

The company, however, surprised investors with a quarterly profit, making good on Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk’s promise, as it delivered a record 97 000 cars.

The company has said it plans to deliver 360 000 to 400 000 vehicles for all of 2019, and that it was “highly confident in exceeding 360 000 deliveries this year.”

The drop in sales in its domestic market in the latest reported quarter compares with a 55% rise in the second quarter ended June.

“The 40% drop in sales shows there is a ton of work to do to meet guidance,” Roth Capital analyst Craig Irwin said.

Tesla is expanding its service in other markets including China and Europe, as Musk is under pressure to make Tesla sustainably profitable, while still spending on major initiatives ranging from a Shanghai factory and assembly-line to upcoming models such as the Model Y SUV and a Semi commercial truck.

The company’s shares were down nearly 3% at $318.66.

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