Tesla Loses $50 Million, But Builds Record 7,535 Vehicles


Tesla Motors released its always-anticipated quarterly report today, and the news was a decidedly mixed bag this time around. In positive news, Tesla built a record number of Model S sedans in the first three months of 2014, but also lost $50 million in the first quarter of 2014. In fact, the electric automaker doesn’t expect to make a dime this year as it goes through growing pains that could also delay the Model X.

Using Generally Accepted Accounting Practices, or GAAP, Tesla lost $50 million last quarter, reporting earnings of 12-cents per share. But even though Tesla beat many analysts’ forecasts, Tesla stock still took a hit, and that probably has more to do with the again-delayed Model X. Elon Musk is now saying that the first Model X SUVs may not roll off the assembly line until the second-quarter of 2015, meaning full-scale production might not ramp up until well into 2016. For the 12,000 or so people who have plunked down at least a $5,000 deposit, this delay is certainly unwelcome, but necessary to deliver a polished product.

But contrary to reports suggesting demand for the Model S was slowing in America, Tesla reported a 10% increase in domestic demand of the sedan. Elon also remains remarkably bullish on China, remarking that there is already a four or five month wait in many cities for the Model S, and the first steps towards establishing a national Supercharger network are already underway.

Less exciting but just as important is the installation of a newer and more automated production line that will help increase output of both the Model S and Model X. Though this will shut down the Fremont factory for 10 days, it will no doubt pay for itself, especially since Musk plans to break ground on one of two Gigafactory sites within the next month. He wants to get the Gigafactory going, and soon, because Tesla’s going to need every battery it can build.

Alas, all these setbacks and investments cost money, and Tesla told investors it doesn’t predict it will make a profit this year. That’s to be expected for a growing automaker, but I’m starting to wonder what the hold up with the Model X is all about. How about you?

Source: Tesla Motors via Autoblog Green

Christopher DeMorro

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.