Tesla to post first-ever profits


Tesla Motors announced this weekend that it’s set to announce a quarterly profit for the first time in its 10-year history.

Model S has sold better than expected
Model S has sold better than expected
The California-based electric car manufacturer has revealed that sales of its new Model S saloon topped predictions, with final registration figures totalling 4,750 – 250 above Tesla’s target. It’s a milestone moment in the company’s history, and will undoubtedly be a relief for Tesla’s outspoken founder Elon Musk, who’s had to contend with a run of negative PR in past months. “There have been many car start-ups over the past several decades, but profitability is what makes a company real,” he said. “Tesla is here to stay and keep fighting for the electric car revolution.” The news contrasts the problems faced by embattled eco car maker Fisker, currently struggling with battery supply issues and feeling the heat after the resignation of its founder.

As part of the announcement, Tesla also confirmed that it will drop the slow-selling 40kWh version of the Model S, focussing instead on the faster and longer-range 60kWh and 85kWh versions.

Tesla’s announcement caused the company’s share price to jump by more than a fifth, with the result that the company is now valued at around £3.3 billion. It’s also promising news for recent start-up Detroit Electric, which hopes to follow the path Tesla’s trodden by commencing production of an electric Lotus-based roadster, before expanding into the manufacture of further models.

P.H. O'meter

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Comments (122) Join the discussion on the forum

  • mikEsprit 04 Apr 2013

    Saw one today. Pretty car.

    They even out-Audi Audi when it comes to the daytime running lights.

  • Talksteer 03 Apr 2013

    dvs_dave said:
    They have sold well and I see them around Chicago regularly, but I feel that the current typical buyer who essentially has the cash to burn on one, will probably get tired of the compromises they involve and start dropping them like hot potatos. The used market for them will be interesting, and I fear probably not great for the current owners. As an indicator, I was just offered a 6 month old Fisker with 6k on the clock that has lost not far off 40% of its list price. Ouch!
    Well currently there are two Tesla Roadsters on Pistonheads classified for sale, they are at £64,000 and £84,000 and are both 2010 models the higher value car has delivery miles only. Given these cars cost £87,000 new that is not terrible depreciation.

    For a good while yet I suspect supply will be considerably less than demand in which case the used values of these cars should be pretty good. As someone said earlier the compromises are like those of owning a 2 seater car, the owner knows these when they buy the car and simply plans around them, I don't see the owners suddenly offloading them and going back to petrol cars (other than several cars they own already because they are rich).

    The bigger issue I see is that of obsolescence perceived or otherwise. Electric vehicles are in a state of fairly rapid evolution, battery technology is becoming better at a fairly rapid rate. The Tesla Model S could start looking like the I-Phone 1, not least because it was designed to look like a conventional car once it gains acceptance for electric vehicles manufactures will start using the new configurations that electric allows.

    The Tesla Roadster will probably become a classic and have some value as a weekend fun car I expect there will probably be a market for re-batterying them as time goes by. As a 17ft long 7 seater luxury car then Model S will probably just depreciate like its rivals once supply and demand balance out.


  • bertie 03 Apr 2013

    I've been lucky enough to get to try a Tesla Model S and it's deeply impressive.

    Tremendously quick, comfortable, quiet and the tech is awesome.

    If you tried a Model S and a normal exec like an Audi A6, Merc E clas or even a BMW 5 series, I chalenge anyone not to be impressed.

  • dvs_dave 03 Apr 2013

    Captain Muppet said:
    Limited range is an issue. Unless you tend to use your car for a commute that is within that range, in which case it isn't a problem any more. It isn't a solution that works for everyone, but it works for enough people for Tesla to make a profit. It helps that the people who are buying them can afford a long distance car too if they want.

    It's not really more of a restriction than only having two seats - there are some trips you can't use that particular car for.
    This is true, but if the only real practical use for it is local trips on busy urban roads, it makes little sense to buy one over the likes of a Prius or Volt etc. A sporty car that due to it's own limitations is essentially restricted to local trips in busy urban environments makes justifying the premium for it's unusable sporty characteristics rather difficult.

    They have sold well and I see them around Chicago regularly, but I feel that the current typical buyer who essentially has the cash to burn on one, will probably get tired of the compromises they involve and start dropping them like hot potatos. The used market for them will be interesting, and I fear probably not great for the current owners. As an indicator, I was just offered a 6 month old Fisker with 6k on the clock that has lost not far off 40% of its list price. Ouch!



    Edited by dvs_dave on Wednesday 3rd April 19:03

  • bleunos 03 Apr 2013

    I for one can't wait to have a go in a decent electric sports car, once they get the batteries half the weight and cost and twice the power and range they will become a very attractive proposition especially for a second car (either sports or commuting).

    I can really see the appeal of instant torque, greater reliability (compared to turbos etc), improved effeciency / cheapness per mile and stealth performance potential.

    As has already been said it needn't mean the end of petrol cars or bikes for people like us that appreciate them - at least not in our driving lifetimes anyway.

    It's frustrating that it's taking so long - the Telsa has been around quite a while, and no one has yet nailed the best system. In design terms we live in interesting times, the pace and scale of automotive developement must surely be greater now than ever before.

    I think BMW will really shake things up with their i8 and i3 models in the next couple of years, they seem to have been ahead of the curve, spent big and really redesigned the whole concept and manufacturing process of electric vehicles. It also seems to have gone rather quiet from BMW in this area (ice lake pax rides aside) which makes me think there must be a lot of intense preparation going on behind the scenes. I guess we can't be that far from the pre pre launch BS build up now.

    Porsche are also investing big on hybrid tech, they won't be messing about either.

    Ze Germans are coming! what a shame it wasn't Lotus, TVR, LDV Vans, McLaren, Jaguar etc etc. It could've been a massive British success story that we would have been able to sell to the whole world. Doh.


    Edited by bleunos on Wednesday 3rd April 17:19

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