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Tesla posts earnings loss but claims Model 3 production will start in July

February 22nd, 2017 at 4:50 PM

Tesla this afternoon released its earnings report for the company’s recent fourth quarter. When the dust settled, Tesla posted revenue of $2.28 billion and a loss of 69 cents per share. By way of contrast, Tesla during the same quarter a year-ago posted a loss of $.87 per share on the back of $1.75 billion in revenue. Notably, Tesla notes that its cumulative 2016 revenue checked in at $7 billion, a 73% increase from 2015.

As far as overall sales are concerned, Tesla disclosed those figures last month, In case you missed it, Tesla during the last three months of 2016 delivered 22,200 vehicles. From that mix, 12,700 deliveries came from the Model S while 2,700 came from the Model X.

Throughout 2016, Tesla delivered 76,230 vehicles, an impressive figure to be sure, but one that falls just slightly below the company’s 2016 projection of 80,000 units. That notwithstanding, Tesla deliveries in 2016 were nearly 50% higher than they were during 2015, a testament to the growing popularity of the Model S and the Model X.

As far as the Model 3 is concerned, Tesla’s press release relays that the company is still on track to begin production in July ahead of volume production in September.

Our Model 3 program is on track to start limited vehicle production in July and to steadily ramp production to exceed 5,000 vehicles per week at some point in the fourth quarter and 10,000 vehicles per week at some point in 2018. To support accelerating vehicle deliveries and maintain our industry-leading customer satisfaction, we are expanding our retail, Supercharger, and service functions.

Model 3 vehicle development, supply chain and manufacturing are on track to support volume deliveries in the second half of 2017. In early February, we began building Model 3 prototypes as part of our ongoing testing of the vehicle design and manufacturing processes. Initial crash test results have been positive, and all Model 3-related sourcing is on plan to support the start of production in July. Installation of Model 3 manufacturing equipment is underway in Fremont and at Gigafactory 1, where in January, we began production of battery cells for energy storage products, which have the same form-factor as the cells that will be used in Model 3.

Tesla of course is still planning to mass produce 500,000 cars in 2018, an ambitious plan that has elicited no shortage of skepticism from analysts. Not helping matters is that Tesla has a long history of delayed production dates. That said, the Model 3 is said to be a much simpler car to manufacture, thereby reducing the likelihood of any delays.

Tesla’s full letter to shareholders can be viewed over here.

A life long Mac user and Apple enthusiast, Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 6 years. His writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and most recently, TUAW. When not writing about and analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions, the most recent examples being The Walking Dead and Broad City.

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