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Tesla misses fourth-quarter vehicle delivery target

The automaker blames short-term production challenges on the transition to new Autopliot hardware.

All Tesla models now in production have the hardware they need for full autonomy.
Tim Stevens/CNET

Tesla said Tuesday that fourth-quarter deliveries fell short of its forecast due to short-term production delays.

The automaker, led by entrepreneur Elon Musk, delivered about 22,000 vehicles during the quarter, the company said in a statement, below its projections of 25,000 deliveries. For the year, Tesla delivered 76,230 vehicles, below guidance of 80,000 to 90,000 units.

Some deliveries were delayed by production challenges related to the transition to new Autopilot hardware that began in October and lasted through early December, Tesla said. Another 2,750 vehicles missed being counted as deliveries due to last-minute transportation delays or the inability of customers to physically take delivery.

"We tried to recover these deliveries and expedite others by the end of the quarter, time ran out before we could deliver all customer cars," the electric-car maker said.

Musk said in October that all models built from that point on would contain the hardware capable of full-on autonomous driving, but none of the systems were to be enabled until a then-unannounced date. The Tesla CEO tweeted on December 22 that he thought the rollout of most of the Autopilot functionality might happen by the end of 2016.

The rollout is expected to be incremental, first enabling safety systems like adaptive cruise control and autonomous emergency braking. This brings Tesla's new Model X and Model S vehicles in line with the older Teslas currently on the road.

Tesla shares fell more than 2 percent, to $212.18, in after-hours trading.