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Tesla sales take a step back in Q1

Tesla saw weaker demand for all three of its models in Q1.


Strong demand abroad for the company's Model 3 sedan couldn't save Tesla from weaker than expected first quarter results.

Tesla delivered just 63,000 vehicles during the first three months of the year, representing a nearly 30 percent decline from the 91,000 vehicles it sold in the previous quarter. Moreover, deliveries of the Model 3, the company's newest model, missed analysts' expectation with 50,900 units sold during Q1.

"It's a disappointment. There's no way around that,” Gene Munster, a managing partner of venture capital firm Loup Ventures, told Bloomberg. "The big question is, what is demand?”

The first three months of 2019 marks the first ever quarterly decline of Model 3 sales. Sales of the Model S and Model X also trended in the wrong direction during the period, with sales falling by 15,500 units to 12,100.

However, Tesla's first quarter results might not be as gloomy as they first appear. Tesla recently began selling the Model 3 in a number of global markets, and vehicles in transit aren't counted toward the company's quarterly deliveries. Slacking demand for the Model S and Model X could be explained by the expiration of a $7,500 federal tax credit.

Tesla's somewhat rocky start to the year isn't out of line with the overall market. Industry-wide sales slipped 3.2 percent in March as automakers continue to grapple with the shift from cars to light duty trucks.

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