Today is D-day for Tesla and Elon Musk

Elon Musk

At 5:30PM EST, after the stock market closes, Tesla Motors (NSDQ:TSLA) will hold its quarterly earnings call to discuss its Q4 financial results from October through December, as well as the company’s full 2012 performance reports. What Tesla (and, by extension, Elon Musk) discloses during that call will give the world at large its biggest clue yet about whether Tesla will become an honest-to-goodness, profitable car company or stay a giant resource and money pit for the investors involved.

Despite enough industry goodwill and positive vibes to move private individuals to produce high-end commercials on their own time and dime, industry analysts are still predicting that Tesla will need more outside help if it hopes to survive much longer. Indeed, other recent moves like its “pay now, and we’ll give you something later – maybe” extra battery sales seem to indicate the company is strapped for cash … but, whether Tesla will sink or swim will be revealed soon enough. Some of the “tough questions” John Voelcker at Green Car Reports are expecting to get answered include:

  • How many Model S cars did Tesla build by December 31?
  • How many did it actually deliver to paying customers?
  • What was the revenue realized for those sales, versus the cost of building and delivering the cars?
  • What average sale price for 85-kilowatt-hour cars does that reveal?
  • How does the company expect the start of production for 60-kWh versions to affect its results?
  • How many reservations does Tesla have for the Model S from the U.S. and from Europe? For its next product, the Model X electric crossover?
  • What percentage of reservations translate into actual sales?

Stay tuned!

Source: Green Car Reports.

Jo Borrás

I've been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, out on two wheels, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.