Tesla Reports Record Output, but Cuts Prices, and Its Shares Plunge

Tesla reported record quarterly production and deliveries on Wednesday, but announced a price cut that could suggest softer demand. Investors responded by sending the company’s shares down sharply.

Tesla said it produced more than 61,000 Model 3 sedans in the final three months of 2018, an increase of 15 percent from the third quarter.

The company also said it was cutting prices of all models by $2,000 per car. It said the move was meant to partly absorb the reduction of a federal electric-vehicle tax credit for Tesla buyers. But it could also signal that the automaker may see softer demand now that it has satisfied the initial wave of orders for the Model 3, its first mass-market offering.

After the announcements, Tesla shares fell more than 8 percent.

The sales figures were a report card on a year in which its chief executive, Elon Musk, said, “We’ve gone from production hell to delivery logistics hell.”

In the fourth quarter, Tesla delivered 90,700 cars compared to 83,500 in the third quarter. Production increased to 8 percent to 86,555 cars, 8 percent above its previous high. Model 3 deliveries rose to 63,150, up from 55,840 in the third quarter.

The federal credit for Tesla vehicles was halved from $7,500, to $3,750 on Jan. 1 two quarters after Tesla became the first automaker to surpass the threshold for the credit, which Congress set at 200,000 cars per manufacturer.