Oof: Tesla didn't quite deliver on its promise of 80,000 cars in 2016

 
Emma Haslett
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Tesla Debuts Its New Crossover SUV Model, Tesla X
Elon Musk endured a rocky ride in 2016 (Source: Getty)

Tesla may be the darling of Silicon Valley, but if you were awaiting a shiny new Model S in 2016, you may have been disappointed.

The company said last night it had made 76,230 deliveries in 2016 - not quite the 80,000 to 90,000 it had promised. In the fourth quarter it delivered 22,200 vehicles, of which 12,700 were Model S and 9,500 were Model X.

That caused the company's shares to fall more than two per cent in after-hours trading, to $212.50.

However, it added that the count should be "viewed as slightly conservative" because cars are only counted as "delivered" if all the paperwork is done and it is in the customer's hands.

Production rose to 83,922 vehicles in 2016, a 64 per cent increase from 2015.

But it said problems with the introduction of its Autopilot software between October and December meant production was weighted more heavily towards the end of the fourth quarter than it had hoped.

"We were ultimately able to recover and hit our production goal, but the delay in production resulted in challenges that impacted quarterly deliveries, including, among other things, cars missing shipping cutoffs for Europe and Asia," it said.

However, it added demand had leaped during the fourth quarter - with net orders for Models S and X hitting record levels, 52 per cent higher than the same period the year before, and 24 per cent up on the previous quarter.

In October the company surprised analysts by posting a $21.9m (£17.9m) profit - its first profit in eight quarters.

At the time, founder Elon Musk said the company was planning to deliver 50,000 cars in the second half of the year.

However, the company endured a rocky ride over its takeover of SolarCity, which Musk has hinted could add $1bn to its revenue.

Although some analysts suggested the takeover would be voted down by shareholders, in the end they approved it.

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