Tesla posts monster loss but promises mass Model 3s are on the way
A Tesla may well be on its way toward the asteroid belt, but the company is struggling to deliver more in-demand electric vehicles here on terra firma. While its higher end cars were produced in record numbers during the fourth quarter of 2017, the company has announced its biggest quarterly loss with production of the mass market Model 3 lagging well behind.
Tesla posted a loss of US$675.4 million in Q4 of 2017, a huge jump from the US$121.4 million it lost in the same quarter of 2016. To be fair, it has been a big year for the company, finally lifting the veil on the Tesla Semi along with the next-generation Roadster, and installing the world's largest battery while it was at it.
It is also reporting record deliveries of the Model S and Model X, with 28,425 vehicles shipped in Q4, a 28 percent increase on the same period in 2016. Overall in Q4, vehicle deliveries grew 35 percent over the fourth quarter of 2016, which Tesla says is the main reason for a 36 percent increase in automotive revenue over the same period.
But the eyes of most will remain on the Model 3, Tesla's debut sedan for the mass market. Hundreds of thousands of customers have pre-ordered the electric vehicle, and the company had planned to be pumping out 20,000 a month by December. In Q4 it shipped 1,542.
But the company believes it is well placed to ramp up production from here, noting that recent acquisitions of advanced automation companies will help its cause. It has targeted weekly productions rates of 2,500 by the end of Q1 2018, and then 5,000 by the end of Q2.
"If we can send a Roadster to the asteroid belt, we can probably solve Model 3 production," said CEO Elon Musk during an investors earnings call today.
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If I want a plug in hybrid my options jump a lot, I can get a porsche, a vw, a volvo, merc etc, with many of them also offering hydrogen cars in small numbers too.
So why give Tesla a break. I'm sure Merc could put one of their cars in space, but you know they spent a billion making their factories better instead. Even at their worst Merc did not post as many flaws as tesla.
Buying automation companies seems like a waste, just pay them to put in the automation and save money. VW does not buy every company that builds their factories, in fact they dont even own some of the factories themselves.
There is a real danger that Elon could leave people in a bit of deloren situation, a car with no support, but Elon set up nicely by owning a bunch of other companies, that tesla buyers bought for him. Which seems like the reason he is buying companies instead of just contracting from them.