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Tesla Slowing EV Production, as Demand Dips, Joins Ford and GM

Tesla’s EV Production expansion capacity uncertainty echoes the sentiments of General Motors and Ford in being cautious citing economic uncertainties and underscoring fears of a slowdown in demand. Tesla joins GM, Ford in slowing EV production as fear of decline in demand spreads. Elon Musk said he was worried that higher borrowing costs would prevent potential customers from affording its EVs. 

(Image Credit: tesla)

This was despite substantial price cuts of Tesla, and that he would wait for clarity on the economy before ramping up its planned factory in Mexico.

Slowdown of Tesla EV production

“People hesitate to buy a new car if there’s uncertainty in the economy,” Musk said on a post-earnings call where he also talked about “paycheck-to-paycheck” pressures on American workers. “I don’t want to be going into top speed into uncertainty.”

Musk’s comments, which sent Tesla shares down more than 4% in after-market trading, come after warning bells from other automakers and startups on EV production capacity.

Decline in EV production capacity of other automakers

GM said on Tuesday it would delay EV production by a year of Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra electric pickup trucks at a plant in Michigan, citing flattening demand for EVs.

Detroit peer Ford said last week it would temporarily cut one of three shifts at the plant that builds its electric F-150 Lightning pickup truck. The automaker in July slowed its EV ramp-up, shifting investment to commercial vehicles and hybrids.

EV startup Lucid on Tuesday reported a near 30% plunge in third-quarter production and only a marginal increase in deliveries despite big discounts, raising worries about demand for its Air luxury sedan.

Amazon-backed Rivian, which makes electric pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles, also disappointed investors this month when it shied away from raising its full-year production forecast despite stronger-than-expected third-quarter numbers.

Dip in demand

“It does highlight that there could be a slowdown in EV (demand) in the near term,” said Tom Narayan, global autos analyst at RBC Capital Markets. “But it has more to do with pricing and affordability than a rejection of EVs.”

Narayan said he expected this to be a “dip” that improves as prices of EVs fall and lower-priced variants are available.

Automakers have billions of dollars in EV-related investments riding on how the next several quarters play out. Worries about slowing demand have been rising just as companies come to grips with supply chain constraints that wrecked production plans.

The U.S. market was not growing fast enough to prevent unsold EVs from stacking up at some auto dealerships.

Tesla price cuts

To prevent demand from waning, market leader Tesla, with industry-leading profit margins, has been the first and most aggressive in price cuts, forcing others to follow suit and squeezing margins.

But Musk said higher financing costs due to rising interest rates meant to fight stubbornly high inflation in some cases almost entirely offset the price reductions, making consumers looking to shift away from gas-guzzling vehicles wary.

“If interest rates remain high … it’s that much harder for people to buy the car. They simply can’t afford it,” Musk said on Tesla EV production. He added he would “accelerate” expansion of the Mexico factory if interest rates come down for Tesla EV production.

In the U.S this is not expected until June 2024, based on current market estimates, with recent robust economic data suggesting the central bank might leave interest rates higher for a bit longer.

The post Tesla Slowing EV Production, as Demand Dips, Joins Ford and GM appeared first on Industry Leaders Magazine.

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Tesla Slowing EV Production, as Demand Dips, Joins Ford and GM


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