23:46 GMT26 February 2020
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    The electronic carmaker Tesla was poised to roll out its new Model 3 cars to its lucrative Chinese market in January. However, due to the outbreak of the coronavirus in Wuhan, government orders have led to the firm's factories being shut down.

    Tesla shares fell 17.18% on Wednesday after a company executive announced that deliveries scheduled for February will be delayed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

    “The proposed delivery (of cars) in early February will be delayed”, said Tao Lin, vice president at Tesla, on the Chinese microblogging service Weibo, according to a CNBC translation, in response to a question from a user.

    “We will catch up the production line once the outbreak situation gets better.”

    The huge fall follows substantial stock increases the previous two days - jumping nearly 20% on Monday and 13.7% on Tuesday.

    Tesla on Wednesday did however avoid hitting a record loss in a single-day, just falling short of 2012 when the stock fell 19.3%. The fall remains the second worst single-day drop however.

    Canaccord downgraded the company to a “hold” from a “buy,” despite keeping its price target at $750 per share, while also suggesting that investors should wait before purchasing Tesla stock.

    Tesla Chief Financial Officer Zach Kirkhorn said last week that its Shanghai factory will stay closed for an extra week to week-and-a-half due to the outbreak of coronavirus, which has now infected at least 24,000 people across the world and killed around 490 in China.

    “This may slightly impact profitability for the quarter but is limited as the profit contribution from Model 3 Shanghai remains in the early stages,” he said.

    The electric carmaker started to issue its Model 3 vehicles from its Shanghai Gigafactory to Chinese customers in January of this year, but its Shanghai factory has been closed since the Lunar New Year due to government guidelines.

     

     

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