Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s fan base in China is growing rapidly. But the scenario is a bit different in the U.S. Barclays analyst Brian A. Johnson said in a research note that the Model S demand in the U.S. may have plateaued. Now the company will have to depend heavily on Europe and China to boost growth. Barclays has an Equal Weight rating on the stock with $220 price target.
Tesla to deliver 3,800 units in the U.S. in Q1
Barclays estimates Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) will deliver 6,600 vehicles during the first quarter, higher than the company’s own estimate of 6,400 deliveries. The research firm expects the company to deliver about 2,800 vehicles in Europe, almost unchanged from the fourth quarter. Of that, 2,056 units will be delivered in Norway, 207 units in the Netherlands, and 240 units in Germany. The rest of Europe is estimated to account for about 300 deliveries.
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In North America, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s Q1 Model S deliveries are estimated at 3,800 units, down from 4,100 units in Q4, 2013. Barclays says that there were about 700 deliveries in the United States. January and February are usually the toughest months in the U.S. for car sales. Even if the company sold an impressive 2,000 vehicles in March (matching the strong monthly sales in September and December 2013), February deliveries would have been 1,100-1,200 units.
The pace of Model S deliveries demonstrates that the international growth has become crucial for Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA). In the second quarter of 2013, the electric vehicle company delivered 5,100 units. But the pace of deliveries has slowed since then, with 4,500 deliveries in Q3, and 4,100 deliveries in Q4. And Barclays expects that slowdown to persist, as the research firm forecasts North America deliveries of about 3,800 units in Q1, 2014.
Tesla needs to sell 16-17K units in Europe and China to meet its target
Assuming the U.S. pace of deliveries remains constant for the remainder of this year at under 4K units per quarter, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) will be on track to sell 15-17K units in the U.S. in 2014. California has the highest concentration of early Model S adopters. But Tesla Motors is also witnessing a slowdown in California. What’s more, channel checks suggest that the wait time for deliveries in the U.S. is now 2-3 months. Actually, some February orders were fulfilled by the end of March. Tesla Motors can meet its 2014 target of 35K deliveries if it sells 16-17K units in Europe and China this year.
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) shares plunged 1.50% to $212.22 at 11:13 AM EDT on Wednesday.