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Tesla quarterly deliveries fall for the first time in nearly four years

(Reuters) -Tesla posted a quarterly fall in deliveries for the first time in nearly four years and missed Wall Street estimates, a sign that the effects of its price cuts are waning as the automaker battles rising competition and softer demand.

Tesla (NASDAQ:) shares fell 5.7% in early trading, adding to the nearly 30% slide in value so far this year.

The world’s most valuable automaker handed over about 386,810 vehicles in the three months to March 31, down 20.2% from the prior quarter. It produced 433,371 vehicles during the period.

Wall Street on average had expected Tesla to deliver 454,200 vehicles, according to 18 analysts polled by Visible Alpha.

The electric automaker’s deliveries fell 8.5% from a year ago. The last time it posted a sales fall was in the second quarter of 2020 when COVID-19 pandemic forced the automaker to shut down production.

The company said the drop in volumes was partially due to its efforts to prepare the Fremont factory in California to increase production of the updated Model 3 and shutdowns at its plant in Berlin as a result of shipping diversions caused by the Red Sea conflict.

Tesla has been facing intense competition in China from local players including market leader BYD (SZ:) – which overtook the U.S. company as the largest EV maker in the fourth quarter – and new entrant Xiaomi (OTC:).

However, the Elon Musk-led company managed to steer ahead of BYD, which sold about 300,000 battery electric vehicles in the quarter.

Tesla delivered 369,783 Model 3 and Model Y, and about 17,000 units of other models, including Model S sedan, Cybertruck and Model X premium SUV.

In January, Tesla also warned of “notably lower” sales growth this year as it focuses on the production of its next-generation electric vehicle.

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