Tesla set up for 'pretty messy' Q1, analyst says

Yahoo Finance
28 Mar 202403:14


TLDRThe script discusses the challenges faced by Tesla, a former Wall Street favorite, as it experiences a downturn in stock ratings and production issues. Xiaomi's entry into the electric vehicle market with a significantly cheaper car adds to the pressure. The focus is on Tesla's ability to maintain margins and adapt to pricing dynamics and demand, especially in the competitive Chinese market. The discussion highlights Tesla's ongoing efforts in cost optimization and its need to adjust production strategies in response to market demands and supply chain disruptions.


  • 🚗 Xiaomi, a Chinese smartphone company, is entering the electric vehicle market with a car priced significantly lower than Tesla's Model 3.
  • 📉 Tesla's stock is experiencing a downturn, with several Wall Street firms adopting a cautious tone and the stock's performance lagging in the S&P 500 for the first quarter.
  • 🔄 The first quarter is expected to be challenging for Tesla due to seasonal weakness and supply chain disruptions, including issues in Europe and a factory fire in Germany.
  • 🇨🇳 Production adjustments in China and the recognition of deferred revenue from the release of FSD version 12.3 are factors that may affect Tesla's margins and financial outlook.
  • 💰 Tesla's margins for the quarter and the remainder of the year are uncertain and will depend on the company's ability to manage costs and optimize pricing strategies.
  • 🔄 The company has a history of continuous cost optimization and is expected to continue to drive costs down from its vehicles.
  • 🧱 Tesla is expected to benefit from lower lithium prices and is working on negotiating better terms with its suppliers for components.
  • 🌏 Tesla's sales strategy, particularly in the Chinese market and other underserved countries in Asia, will be crucial for its future performance.
  • 🤔 The aggressive price war in China and the potential shift of sales to other Asian countries are key considerations for Tesla's market positioning and revenue generation.
  • 📈 Despite the challenges, there is potential for a better-than-expected performance in the coming quarters if Tesla can maintain its margins and address the current issues effectively.

Q & A

  • What is Xiaomi's strategy in releasing an electric car?

    -Xiaomi is releasing an electric car with a significantly lower price point, $4,000 cheaper than Tesla's Model 3, aiming to compete in the electric vehicle market with a more affordable option for consumers.

  • How has Tesla's stock performance been recently?

    -Tesla's stock has been underperforming, with the majority of Wall Street analysts giving it a 'hold' rating, making it one of the worst performers in the S&P 500 for the first quarter.

  • What factors are contributing to Tesla's supply chain disruptions?

    -Tesla has faced several challenges including seasonal weakness in the first quarter, disruptions in the European supply chain related to the Red Sea, and a fire in Germany that temporarily halted factory operations.

  • What is the impact of the production adjustments in China on Tesla's overall production?

    -Tesla has announced a trimming of production in China, which may not meet high expectations for production in the first quarter, but the exact impact will depend on how margins are affected and how the company adjusts for the remainder of the year.

  • How is Tesla managing its margins in light of these challenges?

    -Tesla is expected to recognize a certain amount of deferred revenue with the release of version 12.3 on the Full Self-Driving (FSD) system, which should help support the margins for the quarter.

  • What are the long-term implications for Tesla's normalized margins?

    -The long-term normalized margins for Tesla will depend on pricing dynamics and the company's ability to continue generating demand, as well as ongoing cost optimization and negotiations with suppliers for component costs.

  • How is Tesla's strategy in the Chinese market affecting its global sales?

    -Tesla is involved in an aggressive price war in the Chinese market, which could impact its sales strategy and margins. The company will need to balance selling into the Chinese market with expanding into other underserved countries in Asia.

  • What cost-saving measures has Tesla been successful with in the past?

    -Tesla has a history of making ongoing cost optimization choices, such as driving costs out of vehicles over the years and securing benefits from materials like lithium, which are yet to fully materialize.

  • How does Tesla's approach to supplier negotiations affect its production costs?

    -Tesla has been effective in negotiating with suppliers to reduce component costs, which is a key strategy in maintaining competitive pricing and improving margins.

  • What is the significance of Tesla's Full Self-Driving (FSD) version 12.3 release for its financials?

    -The release of FSD version 12.3 is significant as it allows Tesla to recognize deferred revenue, which can support the company's margins during challenging financial periods.



🚗 Xiaomi's Electric Car Challenge to Tesla's Market Position

This paragraph discusses the competitive entry of Chinese smartphone company Xiaomi into the electric vehicle market with an offering significantly cheaper than Tesla's Model 3. It also touches on Tesla's recent challenges, including a decline in stock performance and various operational issues such as supply chain disruptions and a factory fire in Germany. The focus is on Tesla's strategic response, including cost optimization and pricing dynamics, to maintain its market position against emerging competitors like Xiaomi.




Xiaomi is a leading Chinese smartphone company that is diversifying its product range. In the context of the video, Xiaomi is significant because it is entering the electric vehicle market with a car that is notably cheaper than Tesla's Model 3, indicating a potential shift in the competitive landscape of the electric vehicle industry.


Tesla is an American electric vehicle and clean energy company that has been a pioneer and market leader in the electric car industry. The video discusses Tesla's recent challenges, including a decline in its stock performance and increased competition from companies like Xiaomi, which could impact its market share and profitability.

💡Electric Vehicle (EV)

An electric vehicle, or EV, is a vehicle that uses electric motors for propulsion. The video highlights the growing competition in the EV market, with Xiaomi entering the space and offering a more affordable option compared to Tesla's Model 3, which could potentially disrupt Tesla's dominance in the industry.

💡Supply Chain Disruptions

Supply chain disruptions refer to interruptions or bottlenecks in the flow of goods and services from the point of origin to the point of consumption. In the video, Tesla is facing supply chain issues, particularly in Europe and China, which are affecting its production capabilities and, consequently, its financial performance.


Margins in a business context refer to the difference between the cost of producing goods or services and the revenue generated from selling them. The video emphasizes the importance of margins for Tesla, as they are a key indicator of the company's profitability and financial health, especially in light of increased competition and supply chain challenges.

💡Deferred Revenue

Deferred revenue is the accounting treatment for income that a company has received but not yet earned. It is recognized as revenue when the company fulfills its obligation to the customer. In the video, Tesla is expected to recognize a certain amount of deferred revenue with the release of version 12.3 on the FSD, which is expected to support the company's margins.

💡Cost Optimization

Cost optimization refers to the process of minimizing expenses while maintaining or improving the quality and efficiency of operations. The video highlights Tesla's ongoing efforts to optimize costs, which has been a strength for the company, allowing it to drive down the cost of its vehicles and remain competitive in the market.

💡Pricing Dynamics

Pricing dynamics involve the strategies and factors that influence the setting of prices for goods or services. In the context of the video, pricing dynamics are crucial for Tesla as it navigates a competitive market with aggressive pricing from new entrants like Xiaomi, requiring Tesla to consider its own pricing strategies to maintain demand and market share.

💡Production Adjustments

Production adjustments refer to changes made to the manufacturing process or output levels in response to market conditions, supply chain issues, or other operational factors. The video mentions that Tesla may need to make production adjustments due to the demand environment and the competitive landscape in the electric vehicle market.

💡Chinese Market

The Chinese market is a significant and rapidly growing consumer market that has substantial implications for global businesses. In the video, the Chinese market is highlighted as a key area of focus for Tesla, given the aggressive price war and the potential impact on Tesla's sales and market position.

💡Sales Book

A sales book is a record of a company's sales transactions, including details about the products or services sold, the customers who purchased them, and the revenue generated. In the context of the video, the sales book is important for Tesla as it considers expanding into underserved markets in Asia and other regions, which could provide new growth opportunities.


Xiaomi, a Chinese smartphone company, is releasing an electric car priced $4,000 cheaper than Tesla's Model 3.

Tesla, once a Wall Street favorite, is experiencing a fall from grace.

Several firms including RBC, City, Bernstein, and Oppenheimer are adopting a cautious tone on Tesla's stock.

Tesla's stock has one of the worst performances in the S&P 500 for the first quarter.

The first quarter is expected to be messy for Tesla due to seasonal weakness and supply chain disruptions.

A fire in Germany temporarily shut down Tesla's factory.

Tesla is trimming some production in China.

The focus is on where the margins will shake out for the quarter and how it sets up for the rest of the year.

Oppenheimer has trimmed its numbers for the first quarter with a cautious approach.

Tesla is recognizing deferred revenue with the release of version 12.3 on the FSD to support margins.

The normalized margins going forward are a significant concern for investors.

Pricing dynamics and Tesla's ability to generate demand are crucial factors.

Tesla has been effective at ongoing cost optimization and driving costs out of vehicles.

Benefits from materials on the lithium side are yet to fully roll through for Tesla.

Tesla continues to negotiate with suppliers on components.

Tesla is the largest EV manufacturer in the western world.

The key question is how much Tesla will sell into the Chinese market, which is experiencing an aggressive price war.

Tesla's strategy involves shipping vehicles to underserved countries in Asia that have not been their traditional markets.



be rising more is heating up Chinese


smartphone company xiaomi is releasing


an electric car that's $4,000 cheaper


than Tesla's model 3 while Tesla a Wall


Street darling not so long ago Fall From


Grace wall is continuing RBC City


Bernstein and oppenheim are all striking


a cautious tone on the stock this week


and with the majority of the street now


at a hold rating as one of the worst


performers in the S&P 500 for the first


quarter how should you the investor be


looking at Tesla here to break it all


down we want bringing Colin Rush she's


Oppenheimer managing director and Senior


research analyst here Colin it's good to


see you so just your reaction to


obviously this downward move that we've


seen in Tesla not exactly a massive


surprise given the trends that we had


seen over the last several weeks but how


was Tesla set up now not only in the


current quarter but what looking ahead


to the remainder of the year yeah so the


this first quarter is is setting up to


be pretty messy I think everyone


understands that there's seasonal


weakness here in the first quarter


they've had some Supply chain


disruptions uh you know in the the


European supply chain with the Red Sea


they also had this fire in Germany um


you know that that shut down the factory


for a little bit and and the


announcement that uh they're kind of


trimming some of the the production in


China and so I don't think anyone has


any big expectations for production here


but what is at stake I think is is where


the margins shake out for the quarter


and how that sets up for the balance of


the year and so as we're looking at this


we just trim numbers on the on the first


quarter just you know to out a bit of


caution but we're also seeing them


recognize a certain amount of deferred


revenue with the release of uh the


version 12.3 on the FSD uh we think


they're going to recognize the


reasonable amount of Revenue there to


support the margins and so uh you know


net net where we're at is we we think


there's um a bit of a uh you know better


than fear trade setting up here on the


quarter provided the margins hold up as


we get into the balance of the year I


Bigg question really is you know where


are the normalized margins going forward


right and so so with that in mind it all


comes back to some of these pricing


Dynamics and and how that correlates


within the mechanisms that that Tesla is


actually able to demand or generate


demand here at this point too um you


know as you think about some of the


other adjustments that they're going to


need to make are they going to need to


make other production adjustments given


the demand environment here too I mean


one of the things that this company has


been really great at is making ongoing


uh you know cost uh cost optimization


choices and so they they've continued to


drive cost out of the vehicles on an


ongoing basis over the over a number of


years and so we think they continue to


do that they've got some benefits from


um you know materials on the lithium


side that that are still yet to fully


roll through we think they're continuing


to um beat up their suppliers on


components and then they continue to be


in the western world still the the


largest uh the Evo you know the question


for me right now around um you know


where they're selling is is how much


they're going to sell into the the


Chinese market where there is this very


aggressive price war and how much are


they're going to start uh you know


shipping a number of those peoples into


other uh countries in Asia and a number


of the under underserved countries that


they they really have not been um


selling into but do have a sales book br

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Related Tags
Electric VehiclesTesla ChallengesXiaomi CarSupply ChainProduction IssuesFinancial AnalysisMarket StrategyIndustry CompetitionPricing DynamicsCost Optimization