Telsa slides on widening delivery and production gap, demand worries

By Akash Sriram and Savyata Mishra

(Reuters) - Tesla Inc shares fell about 9% on Monday after the world's most valuable automaker sold fewer-than-expected vehicles in the third quarter due to logistic hurdles, with slowing outlook for economic growth raising doubts about demand.

Despite record quarterly deliveries, Tesla missed market expectations, with an unusually large gap between production and deliveries as it struggled to secure enough transportation during the peak time at a reasonable cost.

The shortfall in deliveries comes amid demand worries among investors and analysts due to increased prices of Tesla vehicles, higher borrowing cost and a dull outlook for global economic growth.

"While Tesla continues to point to supply constraints as limiting deliveries, the potential for demand destruction looms large," JP Morgan analyst Ryan Brinkman said.

Analysts warned that demand may lose steam in the coming quarters, with Toyota Motor Corp's U.S. sales dropping 7.1%. "As far as shipping goes, we are not facing any issues," the Japanese automaker said.

Tesla will need to deliver more than 450,000 vehicles in the fourth quarter to meet its goal of growing deliveries by 50% annually. Reuters reported that it has set a target to produce about 495,000 Model Y and Model 3 in the period.

"The broader concern is more so than just them missing their deliveries, probably just more the going concern for all these smaller upstart EV... That might put us behind the curve in terms of where EV production goes," said GuideStone Capital Management's Brandon Pizzurro.

Still, analysts expect Tesla's manufacturing margins to remain robust in the fourth quarter, thanks to its pricing power and ability to use China as an export hub for many countries.

Shares of smaller electric-vehicle makers including Rivian Automotive Inc and Lucid Group were also down.

(Reporting by Akash Sriram, Ankika Biswas and Savyata Mishra in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Nathan Gomes; Editing by Arun Koyyur)