The spread of the epidemic around the world will tighten the supply chain of car companies, and whether this will affect the production capacity of Tesla's US plants has attracted much attention.
Affected by the Spring Festival and the epidemic of pneumonia infected with new coronavirus, Tesla registered 3,563 new cars in China in January, which was a decrease of 46.36% compared with 6,743 in December last year.
The resumption of Tesla's super factory in China is also delayed until February 10, which will affect the delivery time of the Chinese-made Model 3 originally scheduled to be delivered in February to a certain extent.
At a recent conference call for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019 held by Tesla, Tesla Chief Financial Officer Zach Kirkhorn said that delivery of the Model 3 made in Shanghai would be delayed by 1 to 1.5 weeks.
Tesla's global vice president Grace Tao also said on social media that it currently appears that delivery originally scheduled for early February after the Spring Festival will be postponed, and Tesla will try its best to postpone the speed before the situation improves. Various plans are being developed.
Although the former said that this had limited impact on Tesla's earnings for the quarter, Tesla's stock price has fallen sharply recently due to the outbreak affecting global investors' concerns about the slowdown in economic growth. Investment institutions including Morgan Stanley Its market outlook has also expressed concern.
As the epidemic spreads, investment institutions are indeed starting to focus on Tesla's expected capacity and delivery issues. In 2019, Tesla delivered 367,500 vehicles worldwide, and the Chinese market also delivered 42,000 vehicles.
In expectations for 2020, Tesla has set an annual delivery target of 500,000 vehicles, an increase of about 40% over 2019. The confidence behind the expected growth comes from the commissioning of a Chinese-based super plant and the further expansion of demand.
Since February 10, Tesla's factory in China has been officially resumed. Officials from the Lingang New Area Management Committee have mentioned that it is expected that the super factory will achieve a capacity of about 12,000 vehicles per month, and this number will gradually rise.
However, industry insiders believe that Tesla's production capacity is still affected by the resumption of work by component suppliers.
Kirkhorn said during the Tesla earnings call that he was "paying close attention to whether the supply chain for cars produced in Fremont, U.S.A., would be disrupted."
From the current point of view, the component supply chain systems of multinational automobile companies are all affected to varying degrees. U.S. auto companies, including GM, are using charter flights to airlift Chinese parts and components to the United States to ensure the start of local factories.
According to Reuters, due to the impact of the new crown pneumonia epidemic on the supply chain, Jaguar Land Rover, Britain ’s largest automaker, will bring Chinese parts to the UK by air to maintain production, but it can only meet two weeks of production.
CFRA analyst Garrett Nelson said that Tesla is more worried about the spread of the virus than other automakers because Tesla's short-term car production and revenue growth are very dependent on its presence in China.
In addition to production, whether Tesla can successfully achieve the delivery target of 500,000 vehicles also depends on the following two factors: First, whether the epidemic will affect the demand for new energy vehicles, especially in the Chinese market.
According to the February market retail statistics from the Secretary General of the National Passenger Federation, Cui Dongshu, by February 23, the domestic retail sales of passenger cars in a single day were only over 3,000, down 89% year-on-year.
Therefore, he expects the market retail volume in February to fall by 75% year-on-year. Under such a bleak background, market consumption expectations are also falling.
The second factor is security. A hearing by the National Transportation Safety Board ("NTSB") on Tuesday (February 25) also raised concerns among investment institutions about Tesla's performance.
The incident stems from a car accident nearly two years ago. Mr. Huang, a 38-year-old Apple software engineer, drove to work in Mountain View, California.
Because of using Tesla's Autopilot function, he had been using an iPhone to play mobile games for a period of time before the car accident and was killed when the car hit a roadblock.
The NTSB believes that Tesla does not provide an effective way to monitor the driver's investment in driving tasks. If Tesla does not add new safety measures and restricts Autopilot to use only outside its promoted functions, then it will happen in the future. The risk of accidents will still exist.
Although before that, car accidents caused by Tesla's Autopilot function have occurred many times and Tesla's market share has been expanding, the detailed disclosure of NTSB's findings will undoubtedly make Tesla's performance uncertain.