Published on May 8th, 2014 | by Christopher DeMorro


Tesla Loses $50 Million, Model X Could Be Delayed, Growing Pains Back, But Also Positive Tesla News

May 8th, 2014 by  

Originally published on Gas2.


Tesla Motors released its always-anticipated quarterly report yesterday, and the news was a decidedly mixed bag this time around. In positive news, Tesla built a record number of Model S sedans in the first three months of 2014, but also lost $50 million in the first quarter of 2014. In fact, the electric automaker doesn’t expect to make a dime this year as it goes through growing pains that could also delay the Model X.

Using Generally Accepted Accounting Practices, or GAAP, Tesla lost $50 million last quarter, reporting earnings of 12-cents per share. But even though Tesla beat many analysts’ forecasts, Tesla stock still took a hit, and that probably has more to do with the again-delayed Model X. Elon Musk is now saying that the first Model X SUVs may not roll off the assembly line until the second-quarter of 2015, meaning full-scale production might not ramp up until well into 2016. For the 12,000 or so people who have plunked down at least a $5,000 deposit, this delay is certainly unwelcome, but necessary to deliver a polished product.

But contrary to reports suggesting demand for the Model S was slowing in America, Tesla reported a 10% increase in domestic demand of the sedan. Elon also remains remarkably bullish on China, remarking that there is already a four or five month wait in many cities for the Model S, and the first steps towards establishing a national Supercharger network are already underway.

Less exciting but just as important is the installation of a newer and more automated production line that will help increase output of both the Model S and Model X. Though this will shut down the Fremont factory for 10 days, it will no doubt pay for itself, especially since Musk plans to break ground on one of two Gigafactory sites within the next month. He wants to get the Gigafactory going, and soon, because Tesla’s going to need every battery it can build.

Alas, all these setbacks and investments cost money, and Tesla told investors it doesn’t predict it will make a profit this year. That’s to be expected for a growing automaker, but I’m starting to wonder what the hold up with the Model X is all about. How about you?

Source: Tesla Motors via Autoblog Green

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About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.

  • CaptD

    RE: For the 12,000 or so people who have plunked down at least a $5,000 deposit,”

    Remember the old expression, Good things come to those that wait!

    Also, those that have paid a deposit will not be subject to a future potential price increase that other may have to pay for their new Tesla Model X.

    IMO: Owning one of the first Model X’s will be worth waiting for and quite possibly also increase the number of pre-owned Tesla Model S’s that will be highly sought after by their “new” Tesla Model S owners.

  • CaptD

    If Tesla stock price goes down a bit, because Tesla is trying to do a better job, then it only becomes a better deal for all those that believe in Tesla’s future…

    • Bob_Wallace

      Tesla stock price is based on speculation – the gamble that Tesla is on its way to being a major car manufacturer (or a company on its way to being bought out for a very high price).

      Being speculative rather than based on earnings, the price will be very volatile. Attention paid to short term changes in price is largely wasted energy. Unless you want to get in and are watching for a buying opportunity or a holder looking for a price spike in order to maximize profits.

      Stock price swings are very unlikely to tell us anything about the company. They’re mostly emotion.

  • CaptD – These articles all need a date posted along with their title so readers can figure out when they were first posted, this is important since many readers get notices of comments on older articles!

    • Ross


      I know it is in the URL which is nice.

      • CaptD

        Thanks, where in the URL?
        How about posting an example, Thanks in advance

  • I’m betting a good part of the delay has to do with the Gullwing doors. I can imagine the stiffness, durability, and other mechanical design elements are quite a challenge in that part of the vehicle. The rest of the vehicle seems a pretty easy mod from the model S. The all wheel drive system may also be posing some challenges in calibration.

  • jeffhre

    “That’s to be expected for a growing automaker, but I’m starting to wonder what the hold up with the Model X is all about. How about you?”

    It’s the same with every vehicle Tesla releases. At some point after the prototypes have been frozen, Musk goes over everything the designers and engineers have accomplished with a fine toothed comb. After which he declares its not good enough. It’s the difference between an entrepreneurs review, and reviews by endless committees in the big companies.

    • Tato

      I suspect Elon and Tesla are working very hard in the Falcon wing doors. I have been trying to imagine creative ways to keep that door opening vertically and still keeping the roof as a cargo space. I think those guys are banging the head to figure that out. Let me tell you this though: if Elon gets this door opening like that and manages to keep that roof as cargo space for ski, snowboarding gear, camping, etc this Model X is going to sell like nothing else. It would be definitely the best of the best SUVs in the market. A combination of cargo space, unmatched acceleration and overall experience.

  • Phil McKracken

    Imagine a world without Elon Musk and Tesla?
    The first manufactured cars over 100 years ago were luxury toys only the wealthy could afford but they paid for advancing technology to point where the mass-produced car became much cheaper than maintaining a horse and carriage.
    Battery technology keeps advancing and electric cars will once again become the most common automobile technology just as it was over a century ago.

    • I’d rather not imagine such a world… 😛

    • Tato

      Here is a fact:
      I am a middle class professional. No way I could afford a Maserati, Aston Martin or even a BMW M5 or Audi S7. Not only paying the price for the vehicle would be a stretch, but mainly because the maintenance overhead especially in the Maserati and Aston Martin would be a killer to a middle class professional like me. Now I am totally making plans to buy the Model S since operational expenses really seem to make sense. Combined with savings in fuel, this is a car with unprecedent technology platform, driving experience and style. Except for the silly name badges, what an Aston Martin or Maserati or any other has to offer better than the Model S? Arguably 15% more refined internal materials and few accessories which are commodities. Then I have been reading some nasty crashes in which the Model S likely protected passangers from severe damage. The safety record alone is something that really stands out in the Model S.

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