Or could it be something else?
Tesla Model 3 production is finally getting up to the levels needed to start taking chunks out of a 420,000-strong pre-order list, and with CEO Elon Musk repeating his assertion that the automaker will report a profit in the 3rd quarter of this year, everything seems to be going rather swimmingly. Ok, well, apart from myriad stories recently that put the company in a bad light.
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On Forbes, however, Jim Collins, a fund manager and investment newsletter editor, is now wondering if this Model 3 success is having a negative impact on Model S sales. According to its recently released production and delivery figures for the 2nd quarter of 2018, Tesla delivered 10,930 of its full-size sedans. That's 11.4 percent fewer than in the previous quarter, and also less than the 12,000 delivered during the previous year's Q2. It's Mr. Collins assertion that the decline in deliveries might be down to people choosing to buy the Model 3 instead of the Model S.
Now, we know for sure a number of people have made the opposite jump, buying a new or used Model S because of the 2-year long wait for new Model 3 orders, but is it a smaller number than those for who might think the larger car is just too big for them, or that the Model 3 is nicer? That's probably unknowable, but it seems unlikely.
It wouldn't surprise us if demand has softened somewhat for the Model S, though. The truth is, sales of sedans across most brands has declined in recent years and is being replaced by increased interest in crossovers and SUVs. That could be the case here as well, since we can see that Model X sales more than make up the shortfall. And, while it is true that combined, the two models are down about 3,390 units compared to the first half of 2017, the official line from Tesla is, "Our overall target for 100,000 Model S and Model X deliveries in 2018 is unchanged."