Drop in Tesla’s customer deposits sparks worries over orders

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A 7 percent fall in Tesla‘s consumer deposits in its newest quarter raised issues about future sales at the automaker.

The company’s shares were below almost 5 percent at $295.55 on Thursday, on track for their third straight day of decrease.

Consumer deposits dropped to $616.4 million at the end of the first quarter, from $663.9 million in the preceding quarter.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk consistently stressed the difference between the Model 3 and the Model S, in an earnings call on Thursday.

The automaker had seen orders of the Model S harmed by confusion amongst clients, who were under the impression that the $35,000 Model 3 was an upgrade from the Model S, Musk informed.

The Model S lists at about double the starting cost of the Model 3.

Tesla, which has dealt with production obstacles in the past, is counting on the mass-market Model 3, which could finally enable the company to stem its free-wheeling cash burn and make a profit.

Pacific Crest Securities expert Brad Erickson called Tesla’s communication regarding the misunderstanding between the two cars puzzling.

Some experts were also stressed over the prospect of Tesla preventing the sales of the higher-margin Model S.

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