The Strategist

As Tesla's losses are growing, the company is triumphing

05/05/2016 - 15:28

Last night, the world's largest producer of electric cars Tesla Motors released its report for the first quarter. The company’s losses compared to the first quarter of last year rose to $ 282 million, but fell short of analysts' forecasts. At the time, the revenue increased by almost 20% and the number of orders for new models has accelerated markedly. Tesla’s quotations after the report’s publication increased by almost 3%.

Werner Bayer via flickr
Werner Bayer via flickr
Yesterday after the close of trading in the US, Tesla Motors presented its report for the first quarter of this year. Net loss was $ 282 million ($ 0.57 per share), which is 54% higher than a year earlier. Analysts polled by Reuters expected a loss of $ 0.58 per share. Thus, Tesla's revenue increased by 20% in the first quarter - to $ 1.15 billion.

Thanks to this, the market reaction to the quarterly report was generally positive: Tesla’s quotations rose by 2.7% after the publication of the report. Experts are also pleased with dynamics of orders for the new Tesla model, which suggests significant potential of the company, even against the backdrop of the current losses. The report said that orders for the new model Tesla 3 - the company’s first budget model - exceeded 325 thousand. Orders for more expensive Model S increased by 45% compared to the first quarter last year. Due to such a great number of orders for the Model 3, the company decided to accelerate the production increase plan to 500 thousand per year.

Previously, Tesla planned to have this level of production achieved by 2020. Now, however, it intends to do it already by 2018. The company noted that "the fivefold increase in production over the next two years is a difficult task. Most likely, this will require additional investment, but this is our goal and we will work hard to achieve it." Deliveries of Model 3 should start at the end of 2017.

The company also noted that it plans to produce 20 thousand cars in the second quarter of this year. This is 30% more than in the same period of last year. According to the company’s forecasts, volume of deliveries of Model S and Model X crossover should be 80-90 thousand at the end of the current year. In addition, Tesla’s representative said that they are looking for ways to reduce production costs. This would bring Model S to the profitability of 30%, and Model X - up to 25% by the end of the year. 

Earlier in April, Tesla has introduced a new model, which, according to the company, should be popular on the mass market. Model S costs $ 35 thousand, and is able to drive 350 km with one battery charge.

So great was excitement around the new Tesla model in the United States, that people lined up in front of Tesla showrooms the day before the official start of sales. Elon Musk, head of Tesla, announced the release of Model 3 at a special event in the town of Hawthorne, California. The first buyers will get their cars not before next year. Despite of this, the first few hours of sales gathered impressing 133 thousand pre-orders.

Automotive experts say that so far, the new Tesla model seems to be the most attractive, as other electric vehicles at affordable prices (Nissan Leaf, BMW i3) can drive on a single charge just half Tesla’s distance. However, observers add that the final conclusions are yet to be made by consumers during operation. In recent years, the competition between manufacturers on the market has deteriorated significantly. Companies are trying to attract buyers of electric vehicles at affordable prices.