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Tesla Registrations Plunge 24% In California, Its Largest Market

After a week full of abysmal news for Tesla, which some have said is rapidly becoming the new Uber on the bad-to-worse news front, the weekend couldn't come fast enough for Elon Musk who by now is begging for the simple

"a little red wine, vintage record and some Ambien."

A little red wine, vintage record, some Ambien ... and magic!

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk)

But before that can happen, there is even more bad news for the electric car company which today entered a bear market after hitting all time highs just 2 weeks ago: according to Reuters, Tesla registrations in California - by far the largest market of the luxury electric car maker - fell 24% in April from a year ago, based on IHS Markit data. The latest report showing a plateau for Tesla's products comes amid both investor concerns that demand for Tesla's luxury Model S sedan is waning ahead of the mass market Model 3 launch, the sales of its Model X actually declined...

... and follows a scathing Goldman report which effectively said that Tesla can kiss its aggressive growth forecasts goodbye.

The punchline: IHS reported April Tesla registrations fell to 2,177 from 2,867 in California. Nationally they dropped nearly 10 percent to 3,911 from 4,334.

Tesla declined to comment on California registration figures and reverted back to its Monday's press release that second-quarter global deliveries rose 53 percent from a year earlier, to just over 12,000 Model S and just over 10,000 Model X, which incidentally allso missed consensus expectations of 22,900 sales. Inexplicably, Musk blamed battery pack production problems for holding back vehicle output in the second quarter until early June, even though Tesla producted 2,000 more cars than it sold, and also completely forgot to inform investors of this material adverse development for more than two months, and also during its May earnings call.

Willing to give Tesla the benefit of the doubt, IHS analyst Stephanie Brinley said that "if Tesla had an issue with its production for the month, that could explain" the drop in registrations, she said, noting in particular the problems with battery pack output. Still, she said, Tesla's Model S, could be in need of a refresh.

"They haven’t changed much on the exterior or much on the package," and it is a high-fashion car, she said. "I can certainly understand where Model S sales may be softening a little bit because it’s an older product. That could be contributing to the issue."

The car was launched in 2012 and is unchanged since as Musk has been far too busy looking for taxpayer subsidies and scapegoats on which to pin the ongoing disappointments of his business plan.

Industry data reviewed separately by Reuters showed that the Model S registrations in California were uneven over the first four months of 2017, varying by more than 1,000 units month-to-month. In percentage terms Model S growth peaked in February, decelerated in March and turned negative in April in California.

IHS measures vehicle registration, which comes after a sale. Registration in California and overall in the United States rose sharply for the combined first four months of the year, but April showed steep declines. IHS has not released data for May or June.

While Brinley said it was difficult to assess whether that reflected demand or availability, the fact that Tesla has chornically overproduced more cars than it delivered in any given quarter, we would think the answer should be obvious.