Lucid Group, a luxury electric-vehicle start-up, announced its fourth-quarter production and deliveries on Thursday. Despite a drop in stock prices, the numbers are relatively positive. However, auto investors are grappling with a more significant concern.

In the fourth quarter, Lucid produced 2,391 cars and shipped 1,734 units. While production experienced a 32% decline compared to the previous year, sales were down by only 10%.

Although a decrease is not what investors hope for, these figures align with company guidance. Throughout the entire year, Lucid manufactured a total of 8,428 vehicles, consistent with their projection of 8,000 to 8,500 cars provided in November.

In comparison to 2022, full-year production increased by approximately 17%, with sales also rising by 37% to 6,001 units.

Despite these positive results, investors remain relatively unenthusiastic. Lucid's stock price dropped by 6.3% in early trading, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite experienced only minor declines of 0.5% and 0.6%, respectively.

Interestingly, Lucid's stock briefly opened higher on Thursday, indicating that the decrease was not solely attributable to the news of deliveries. Instead, the market reacted to the news that consumer prices rose by 3.4% in December compared to an expected gain of 3.2%. This unexpected increase in inflation may result in higher interest rates and subsequently make cars more expensive, thereby impacting overall demand and pricing pressure.

Many other auto stocks were similarly affected by these challenges. Tesla's stock price fell by over 3%, while Rivian Automotive and General Motors shares recorded declines of 3.4% and 1.7%, respectively.

Despite meeting their guidance, Lucid faces a challenging situation. The projected range of 8,000 to 8,500 cars was significantly lower than earlier expectations, as the company initially anticipated producing around 12,000 vehicles in 2023. Consequently, Lucid's stock price has suffered, with shares dropping approximately 60% over the past 12 months.

On Wednesday, February 21, Lucid will release their fourth-quarter results, followed by a conference call at 5:30 p.m. Eastern time. Investors and analysts eagerly anticipate the presentation of 2024 production guidance and management's strategies to enhance sales in the upcoming years.

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