Tesla Posts $38 Million Loss In Third Quarter

Tesla Model S

Tesla Motors posted a $38 million net loss during the third quarter with $431 million in revenue. This is a larger loss on a larger revenue than in the second quarter of the year.

This may not sound too good, but compared to the numbers from the same period last year, it’s actually an improvement. In the third quarter of 2012, Tesla posted a $111 million net loss on only $50 million in revenue. This was just as the company began production on their Model S.

Tesla did post a gross profit of $102 million for the quarter before expenses brought their net into the negative. Research and development combined with sales, general and administrative expenses were what pushed them to a loss.

Automotive sales incurred a $325 million expense while research and development totaled $56 million and selling and administrative expenses were $77 million. All of these costs are expected to rise during the fourth quarter of the year.

Revenue in the third quarter decreased in part due to Tesla trading fewer zero-emissions vehicle credits. In the second quarter those credits added $51 million to their revenue while the third quarter only saw $10 million from ZEVs.

Deliveries of vehicles look stronger for the current quarter than in the previous quarter when they delivered 5,500 units including 1,000 Model S sedans to customers in Europe. They expect that number to go up to 6,000 for the last quarter of the year for a year end total of 21,500 vehicles.

Demand for vehicles is currently outpacing production, but Tesla plans to fix that problem. As suppliers increase capacity, Tesla hopes to produce an additional 550 vehicles a week over the next few quarters.

One such supplier is Panasonic with whom Tesla has recently revised their supplier agreements. Panasonic will now be providing 1.8 billion automotive grade lithium ion battery cells over the next four years. This is more than three times the original agreement.

Nicole Wakelin fell in love with cars as a teenager when she got to go for a ride in a Ferrari. It was red and it was fast and that was all that mattered. Game over. She considers things a bit more carefully now, but still has a weakness for fast, beautiful cars. Nicole also writes for NerdApproved and GeekMom.