Tesla posts $89.9mil net loss in 1Q, worse than last year’s $48.9mil loss

Article by Christian Andrei, on May 10, 2012

Electric vehicle maker Tesla Motors Inc. posted a net loss of $89.9 million during the first three months. This is worse than the $48.9 million loss it incurred in 2011. The further rise in net loss has been attributable to the mounting costs of bringing the Model S electric sedan to market. The company increased its 2012 revenue goals by $10 million because it anticipates delivering the new Model S earlier than expected.

The automaker has portrayed 2012 as a "year of two halves" with the introduction of the Model S as the demarcation line. This year, 90% of the automaker's revenue will come from the sedan. The company anticipates full-year revenue in a range from $560 million to $600 million.

The automaker previously anticipated revenue of not less than $550 million. The company's Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk commented that he is confident Tesla will produce a 25% gross margin next year as revenue from Model S sales pour in.

Musk also anticipates economies of scale to lead in reduced costs per kilowatt-hour for the battery pack. Specifically, he stated that "scaling up by a factor of 10" should lead in the decline of costs by 50%.

Revenue for the first three months declined from $49 million on the same period last year to $30.2 million, indicating the end of Roadster sales in North America.

Moreover, Musk shared that even with the long wait to acquire a reserved vehicle, there is no "significant falloff from people … who are not sure they want the car." He added that they have an "extremely high rate of people wanting to put down the remainder of the money."

Additionally, even with some reports of multiple orders from individuals seeking to "flip" the automobiles, the numbers are "infinitesimally small," Musk further disclosed. During the first quarter, Tesla disclosed that there are 416,000 walk-in visitors to its six "new design" dealerships even with the "no advertising and no test drives," Musk related.

Topics: tesla

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