updated 11:35 am EDT, Thu May 9, 2013
Q1 finally profitable after decade in business
Tesla Motors has posted its first profitable quarter since the company was founded a decade ago. The Palo Alto-based company reported first-quarter revenues of $562 million, marking an 83 percent jump over the previous quarter, while managing to turn a net profit of $15 million, according to a LeftLane report.
In a note distributed to shareholders, Tesla CEO and co-founder Elon Musk cited strong demand for the new Model S sedan as a contributing factor. The company delivered more cars than originally expected, shaving the per-car production time by 40 percent, while widening gross margin and benefiting from a drop in the cost of raw materials.
"Our goal has always been to make electric vehicles affordable to the mass market," Musk added. "The Model S is priced substantially lower than the Roadster and our third generation vehicle will again be priced much lower than the Model S."
The company last summer began to ship its Model S sedan, which was met with a number of awards from various automotive magazines. The base model offers 208 miles of estimated range, with a $71,000 price tag, while an upgraded model integrates a larger battery with 265 miles of range. The all-electric car integrates a wide range of tech features, including LED cornering lights and separate NVIDIA Tegra chipsets powering the instrument cluster and infotainment system.
Tesla expects to deliver slightly more than 4,500 vehicles in the second quarter, before expanding distribution overseas in the third quarter.