Tesla shares popped briefly Wednesday after a leaked email showed chief executive Elon Musk telling employees the company is “on track” to break its deliveries record.
In what has become a recent trend, Musk cracked the whip on his workers ahead of the close of the quarter, saying that the electric automaker has a chance to surpass last year’s record of 90,700 deliveries for the final three months of 2018.
“As you may have noticed, there is a lot of speculation regarding the vehicle deliveries this quarter,” Musk wrote. “The reality is that we are on track to set an all-time record, but it will be very close. However, if we go all out, we can definitely do it!”
The email comes amid wider fears that demand for the once-elusive Tesla vehicle will drop, including Goldman Sachs recently cutting its Tesla price target from $200 to $158 on predictions of falling demand.
The Palo Alto company has not changed its guidance of 360,000 to 400,000 vehicles this year, and Musk has repeatedly denied there is a demand problem for the company’s three vehicles: the Model S full-size sedan, the Model 3 small sedan and the Model X SUV.
Musk in his email claimed Tesla already has enough orders to set a new quarterly record — and that the hold-up lies with trouble delivering the cars because “the right cars are not yet all in the right locations.”
But Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives poured cold water on Musk’s predictions in a note to investors Wednesday, saying it’s unlikely the company will deliver 90,000 to 100,000 vehicles this quarter.
Reaching annual delivery targets “is going to be an Everest-like task in our opinion,” said Ives, who expects 84,000 to 88,000 deliveries for the quarter.
On Tuesday, Tesla-centric blog Electrek reported that the company so far has delivered 49,000 vehicles in North America during the second quarter.
Also on Wednesday, Tesla’s vice president of production at its Fremont, Calif., factory left the company. Peter Hochholdinger, who was hired from Audi three years ago, is the latest high-profile executive to leave Musk’s company in the past two years.
Hochholdinger was in charge of improving the Model S and X production and helping to build cost-effective manufacturing for the Model 3.
It’s unclear why he left.
Neither Tesla nor Hochholdinger responded to requests for comment.
Tesla shares dropped 49 cents Wednesday, to $219.27.
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