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Tesla CA registrations plunge, but it's probably not a big deal

The sales report doesn't look at deliveries, and they're likely not even counted in the data due to delivery timing.

2018 Tesla Model 3 Performance
The latest news shouldn't be a cause for alarm.
Nick Miotke/Roadshow

Panic ensued within the Tesla circles on Wednesday as Dominion Cross-Sell, a sales reporting company, delivered an annual report showing Tesla registrations in the ever-important EV state of California dropped by 46.5%. That's a massive decrease, but as others have pointed out, it's not the final picture.

Twitter user Alter Viggo correctly states the sales report looks at registration data in California to provide the snapshot into Tesla's hopes in the state. This is far different than looking at deliveries. California reports registrations roughly 2-4 weeks after delivery. As was the case last year in the report, most of Tesla's December deliveries occurred in the final two weeks of the month.

Therefore, this look isn't exactly accurate. Yes, on paper registrations are down, but only because deliveries occurred so late.  In January, we'll see the figure shoot upward, just as it did from 2018 moving into 2019, which Dominion Cross-Sell showed in last year's snapshot.

The Twitter user goes on to point out lengthy wait times for Tesla vehicles in California as further proof of high demand, but putting that aside, the numbers and processes tell the story: this isn't really a big deal.

Tesla delivered a record number of cars in the fourth quarter, which helped send its stock price soaring. However, we'll know the real picture once the automaker reports its fourth-quarter earnings in the near future. Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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