Oct 3 (Reuters) – Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) shares fell about 5% on Monday after the world’s most valuable automaker sold fewer-than-expected vehicles in the third quarter as deliveries lagged way behind production due to logistic hurdles.

The company’s shares were set to open at a more than two-month low as Tesla said it was unable to secure enough transportation for vehicles made at a reasonable cost during the peak time.

It produced a record 365,923 vehicles in the quarter and delivered a new high of 343,830 vehicles, compared to market expectation of 359,162. read more

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“Third-quarter volume figures probably aren’t good enough to lure in fresh buyers of the shares, especially when global financial markets are volatile and transfixed by the twin challenges of inflation and rising interest rates,” said AJ Bell analyst Russ Mould.

Also, an unusual gap of more than 22,000 units between production and deliveries spooked investors even though Chief Executive Elon Musk vouched “steadier deliveries” in the current quarter to reduce last-minute rush.

Tesla, which sees a delivery spurt toward the end of each quarter, said more of its new vehicles were in transit by the end of the third quarter.

“While Tesla continues to point to supply constraints as limiting deliveries, the potential for demand destruction looms large,” JP Morgan analyst Ryan Brinkman said, citing price rise, higher borrowing costs and a likely slowdown in economic activity.

Musk, the world’s richest person, has set a target to grow deliveries by 50% annually, implying Tesla would have to deliver more than 450,000 vehicles in the fourth quarter to meet its goal.

Reuters Graphics

Reuters exclusively reported on Friday that electric vehicle-maker has set an ambitious target to produce almost 495,000 Model Y and Model 3 in the fourth quarter.

Separately, Musk unveiled a prototype humanoid “Optimus” predicting the company would make millions and sell them for under $20,000. read more

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Reporting by Akash Sriram and Savyata Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur

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