Tesla widens Q4 net losses from $16 million to $108 million

Article by Christian A., on February 17, 2015

Tesla Motors Inc. saw its net losses widen almost sevenfold in the fourth quarter of 2014 from $16 million to $108 million. The carmaker saw its revenues for the quarter surge 55 percent from $615 million to $957 million. Using the Tesla’s preferred non-GAAP methods, its revenue grew 44 percent to $1.1 billion.

The US-based EV maker built 11,627 vehicles in the fourth quarter on the way to achieving its target of producing 35,000 vehicles for the 2014 calendar year. However, a good number of these vehicles were not delivered to customers by the end 2014, which means Tesla failed to hit its target of delivering 33,000 vehicles for the year.

In a letter to shareholders, Tesla said that deliveries of produced cars were physically impossible due to customers on vacation, severe winter weather and shipping issues. The carmaker expects improvements in production, deliveries and profits in 2015, as the carmaker is set to introduce its newest EV, the Model X, in the third quarter.

Tesla has warned that a strengthening dollar might eat into its earnings. It said that gross profit margin for the first quarter of 2015 will be around 26 percent instead than 28 percent should exchange rates remain at current levels. Tesla is targeting to deliver 70 percent more vehicles in 2015 to 55,000 unit.

That would not be hard for Tesla, though, as it entered 2015 with 10,000 orders for the Model S and 20,000 orders for the Model X. Chief executive Elon Musk remarked that the carmaker will not unveil the Model X to the public "until it gets delivered."

He added that the EV maker will avoid going "super crazy" with the mass-market Model 3 as it wants to prevent delays similar to those that have affected the Model X. He added that though the new Model 3 will be an amazing car, it won't be the “most adventurous version of the Model 3 to begin with."

Based in Palo Alto, California, Tesla Motors was established by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning. The establishment of the company – made on July 1, 2003 -- was sparked by GM’s decision to recall and destroy its EV1 electric cars earlier in the year.
Initially, Eberhard and Tarpenning financed Tesla Motors, before they were joined by Elon Musk, J. B. Straubel and Ian Wright.

Eberhard filed a lawsuit in June 2009 against Tesla Motors for rewriting history. In September 2009, a settlement agreement was reached between Tesla Motors and Eberhard, thereby naming all five -- Eberhard, Tarpenning, Musk, Straubel and Wright – as its founders.

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