While global sales were up in 2019 to an estimated 367,500, Tesla deliveries in California hit the brakes, with sales in the final quarter of 2019 down by 46.5 per cent compared to same time in 2018.
According to the latest Dominion Cross-Sell report, seen by Reuters, which breaks down new vehicle registrations across the US by state, region or, even, ZIP code, Tesla sold 13,584 cars in California in the last three months of 2019.
That's down from the 25,402 vehicles sold in the Golden State during the same period in 2018.
With 10,694 new Model 3s registered in its home state during the last quarter of 2019, the electric sedan accounts for roughly 78 per cent of Tesla's sales there. Compared to the same quarter a year earlier, Model 3 sales are down by about half.
Thanks to California's strong car culture, history of air pollution, high levels of wealth, and government incentives, it has been the most enthusiastic adopter of electrified vehicles, starting with the Prius and continuing to today's Tesla models.
The large drop in sales could be a sign that demand for electric sedans in the same price and size bracket as the BMW 3 Series has largely been satiated, at least in the US.
It should also be noted, since the beginning of 2020, buyers of new Tesla vehicles in the US no longer benefit from a federal income tax credit.
The credit scheme for Tesla cars began winding slowly after the automaker crossed the 200,000 sales threshold. What was once an effective US$7500 ($10,900) discount had shrunk to just US$1875 ($2732) by the second half of 2019.
Tesla's sales predicament in its home state is one of the few downbeat pieces of news for the automaker this year.
Its share price has gone over the US$500 ($729) mark this month after sinking as low as US$180 ($262) in July 2019. Since then the company posted a surprise profit in Q3, unveiled its Cybertruck, and begun production of cars in China.
Earlier this month, Tesla said it delivered around a record 367,500 vehicles in 2019. The company had been planning to sell between 360,000 and 400,000 cars globally in 2019.