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Thanks to the Model 3, Tesla finally turned a profit last quarter

Published Oct 24th, 2018 5:11PM EDT
Tesla Model 3
Image: Ena/AP/REX/Shutterstock

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Tesla released its earnings report for the September quarter and, suffice it to say, the electric automaker has a lot to be proud of. Calling the quarter “historic,” Tesla for the first time in history managed to turn a profit. When the dust settled, Tesla ended the quarter with a net income of $312 million. While not a staggering amount, it emphatically shows that Tesla — despite an avalanche of naysayers — does in fact have the ability to be profitable.

As far as revenue is concerned, Tesla during the quarter generated $6.8 billion in revenue, easily besting estimates from analysts on Wall Street. Impressively, revenue from automotive sales jumped by a whopping 158% year over year, thanks in large part to the popularity of the Model 3. Despite early production troubles, it truly seems as if Tesla has managed to get a firm grasp on ramping up Model 3 production.

Throughout the quarter, average Model 3 production checked in at 4,300 units per week. During the last week of the quarter, Tesla managed to churn out 5,300 Model 3 vehicles.

“Q3 2018 was a truly historic quarter for Tesla,” the company’s letter to shareholders reads in part. “Model 3 was the best-selling car in the US in terms of revenue and the 5th best-selling car in terms of volume.”

Interestingly, Tesla notes that vehicle delivery represented its primary challenge for the quarter:

Vehicle delivery and logistics were our main challenges in Q3 as our delivery system went through a similar “ramp” to what our production system went through in Q2. Fortunately, these challenges are easier to solve than vehicle manufacturing, and we made improvements through the quarter. One of the most significant improvements was the expansion of direct deliveries where our employee delivers the car wherever the customer would like. We believe delivering vehicles to the front door of a customer’s house or office is superior from both a cost and customer satisfaction perspective.

As to cumulative deliveries, Tesla during the quarter gone by delivered 56,065 Model 3s to customers and a total of 70,000 vehicles overall.

Tesla’s full letter to shareholders can be read over here. Not surprisingly, shares of Tesla are up more than 10% in after-hours trading.

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.