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Tesla outsold Mercedes-Benz in the US last quarter and might actually turn a profit before 2019

Published Oct 9th, 2018 6:08PM EDT
Model 3
Image: Ena/AP/REX/Shutterstock

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Despite all of the drama surrounding Elon Musk’s tussle with the SEC, and despite Tesla’s early troubles ramping up Model 3 production, the company has slowly but steadily improved production across its entire vehicular lineup. During the recent September quarter, for example, Tesla said that it manufactured 80,142 vehicles and delivered 83,500 vehicles to customers. Speaking to how fast Tesla is growing, the company earlier this month explained: “We delivered more than 80% of the vehicles that we delivered in all of 2017, and we delivered about twice as many Model 3s as we did in all previous quarters combined.”

Demand has never been much of a problem for Tesla, and now it appears that the electric automaker is finally getting a firmer handle on supply. In fact, a new report from Atherton Research relays that Tesla during the recent third quarter outsold Mercedes-Benz in the U.S. for the first time in history. What’s more, the report adds that Tesla was just 2,000 vehicles away from outselling BMW.

So what’s the takeaway from all of this? Well, for starters, it suggests that Tesla might actually be able to turn a profit before 2019, as Elon Musk promised a few months ago. While it’s no secret that Tesla has been burning through cash at a rapid clip, a ramp-up in production coupled with consistent demand for all Tesla vehicles suggests that Tesla may finally be poised to turn a corner with respect to profitability.

To this point, Macquarie Research analyst Manyard Um recently issued a research note (via CNBC) and said Tesla still has a lot of room for growth.

“We view Tesla as a disruptive technology growth company with differentiated products and strong brand presence in the secularly growing and equally disruptive markets of electric vehicles, energy storage, and energy generation,” Um explained.

“Tesla appears on track for production targets and should be able to achieve profitability in the second half of this year,” Um added.

Tesla shares have been way down in recent weeks due to Musk’s battle with the SEC, but it will be interesting to see if the stock rebounds if Tesla does, in fact, turn a profit before the end of the year.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.