Tesla demand and reputation are on the rise, as well as the stock
Tesla's fourth quarter and 2022 numbers beat expectations, and the company is stronger than ever, but convincing nervous investors is a tough sell. A significant stock sell-off saw Tesla lose 70 percent of its value last year, and critics predict doom. Even some hardcore Tesla fans harshly criticized Elon Musk, demanding the board step in. But these negative narrative headlines don't show up on Tesla's bottom line.
Musk took over Twitter in October of 2022, and not long after that, Tesla's stock started to spiral downward. It certainly didn't help that Musk was selling many of his Tesla shares to pay for Twitter, and the overall market was turning bearish. However, many linked Musk's takeover of Twitter and subsequent controversial tweets as having a detrimental impact on Tesla.
Twitter is Helping Tesla's Brand
An investor question during the quarterly call cited brand damage due to partisan tweets and asked how any brand image would be mitigated. Of course, Musk, who has changed his Twitter handle to Mr. Tweet, knows all about the condemnation of his actions on Twitter. It seemed he was waiting to unleash his response. "Well, let me check my Twitter account," said Musk, "Okay, so I've got 127 million followers. It continues to grow very rapidly. That suggests that I'm reasonably popular."
But it's not just the number of followers; Musk will surprise people daily when he randomly joins a conversation. "I'm the most interactive account, social media account, I think, maybe in the world, certainly on Twitter, and that's actually predated the Twitter acquisition. So I think Twitter is actually an incredibly powerful tool for driving demand for Tesla... So the net value of Twitter, apart from a few people who are complaining, is gigantic, obviously."
Tesla Demand Increasing
Musk encourages others, including his competition, to use Twitter to drive demand for their products because he has seen demand jump to new levels at Tesla. "The most common question we've been getting from investors is about demand. I want to put that concern to rest. Thus far in January, we've seen the strongest orders year-to-date than ever in our history. We currently are seeing orders at almost twice the rate of production."
2023 Price Fluctuations
That demand may have been sparked by Tesla's considerable price drops globally. In fact, the demand is so high the company has already raised the price of the Model Y in a few regions. According to Tesla's CEO, Zachary Kirkhorn, the company will continue to look for price adjustments, "As we look towards 2023, we are moving forward aggressively leveraging our strength and cost." Kirkhorn says Tesla is "holding steady on plans to rapidly increase volume, while improving overhead efficiency, which is the most effective method to retain strength in our operating margins.
While Kirkhorn admits the cost reduction will impact the operating margin in the short term, the company believes the long-term outlook remains strong, especially as the world transitions to a deflationary environment, where costs are likely to come down.
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Cox Automotive, the world's largest automotive services and technology provider, has released a forecast predicting that Tesla will lead the luxury market in Q1 2023 with sales of 180,000 units, a gain of nearly 40% from Q1 2022. As a result, Tesla is expected to post solid sales gains and surpass a market share of 5% for the first time. This marks a significant achievement for the electric car maker as it continues to gain market share in the luxury car market.
Improved Inventory and Lowered Prices to Spark Demand
By far, Tesla will be the top luxury-vehicle seller in the U.S. in Q1, with sales more than double that of BMW or Mercedes. This impressive performance is likely due to Tesla's innovative technology, sleek designs, and rising brand recognition.
Tesla's success in Q1 2023 is expected to be primarily driven by improved inventory levels and lowered prices. According to Cox Automotive, new-vehicle inventory levels have significantly improved from Q1 2022, which has helped stimulate sales despite elevated prices and high auto loan rates. Tesla also lowered its prices in the first quarter to spark demand.
Tesla's Record Quarter
Tesla's Q1 2023 sales are expected to reach 180,000, a record quarter for the company in the U.S. In addition, the company's growth trajectory continues to outpace its competitors, with Tesla's market share forecasted to surpass 5% for the first time. This puts Tesla on track to achieve its goal of selling 1 million electric vehicles per year, an ambitious target the company has set for itself.
Strong Outlook for Tesla
Cox Automotive's forecast is good news for Tesla investors and enthusiasts. The electric car maker has been expanding its production capacity to meet the rising vehicle demand. Tesla's Model Y, launched in 2020, has been a hit with customers, with the company ramping up production to meet the high demand. Tesla also plans to launch the Cybertruck, its first all-electric pickup truck, in 2022.
As more consumers look to switch to electric vehicles to reduce their carbon footprint, Tesla's growth prospects are expected to remain strong. The company's continued innovation in the electric car space and aggressive expansion plans could help it solidify its position as a leader in the automotive industry.
Other Key Take Aways from Cox
The release suggests a positive surprise for U.S. auto sales in Q1 2023. Still, supply constraints and affordability issues are expected to put a ceiling on what's possible for the rest of the year. Despite these challenges, Tesla's continued growth trajectory and strong performance in the luxury market are promising signs for the electric car maker.
General Motors is expected to finish Q1 as the top seller of new vehicles in the U.S., with sales volume forecasted to increase by over 15% year over year to reach 587,000 units. However, sales will drop from Q4 2022 when GM's volume hits 618,692.
The Bottleneck Has Passed, but Prices Are Too High
New-vehicle inventory levels have significantly improved from Q1 2022, up roughly 70% from the volume recorded in the early months of 2022. This has helped stimulate sales despite elevated prices and high auto loan rates.
Fleet sales for the entire year of 2023 are forecasted at 2.2 million, up 23% from 2022, when 1.8 million units were sold to commercial buyers.
Cox Automotive has adjusted its full-year new-vehicle sales forecast to 14.2 million, an increase of nearly 3% from 2022.
Elevated prices and average auto loan rates above 8% are expected to hold back new-vehicle sales for the rest of the year. The typical new-vehicle loan payment was more than $750 a month in Q1, which is out of reach for many households.
Tesla's sales forecasted to surpass 5% market share in Q1 2023 is a significant milestone for the electric car maker. Tesla's success in the luxury market is due to its innovative technology, sleek designs, and raising brand recognition. In addition, the company's improved inventory levels and lowered prices have helped stimulate sales despite elevated prices and high auto loan rates. With a record quarter forecasted for Q1 2023, Tesla's outlook remains strong, and the company continues to lead the charge in the electric car market.
Tesla is updating its app to show the vehicle's planned path to its destination
Not a Tesla App
Tesla is consistently working to improve its mobile app experience for users, and now they're adding another new feature. Building on the features unveiled last year, Tesla is now adding the ability to view the route the vehicle is taking toward its destination. Thanks to Max for the tip!
When using GPS navigation, the app directly displays the driver's destination, distance, and estimated arrival time (ETA) on the main screen. By tapping into the navigation section, users can access a map that shows the vehicle's location, nearby Superchargers, and destination details. The app also displays the vehicle's expected state of charge upon arrival at the destination, providing greater transparency for owners regarding battery consumption. The one missing piece was the suggested route the vehicle is taking to reach its destination. That is now being added to the app and is available for select users.
In the last Tesla app update, v4.19, the company introduced a new API called "nav route." This API looked to go unused at first, but this new feature appears to leverage this API to display the path the vehicle will take, much like the in-car navigation system.
Building on Latest Update
The October 2022 update brought a host of additional features to the Tesla mobile app, enhancing convenience for its users. For instance, the app now shows more information about the media playing in the vehicle, such as song title, artist, and destination details.
The automaker rolled out major revisions to its Energy app in its cars, which displays the battery's state of charge upon departure and arrival, as well as the main causes of battery drain. Tesla started bringing this functionality to the app for older Model S and Model X vehicles, and will hopefully soon expand it to other vehicles.
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