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Tesla reports Q4 2012 revenues of $306M, delivery of approx. 2,400 Model S EVs; projecting slight profit in Q1 2013

For the fourth quarter of 2012, Tesla Motors reported total revenues of $306 million, a 500% increase over Q3. The company delivered approximately 2,400 Model S vehicles. Non-GAAP net loss for the quarter was just under $75 million; GAAP net loss was $90 million. With ongoing implementation of production and delivery efficiencies throughout the year, Tesla expects to be slightly profitable (excluding only non-cash option and warrant-related expenses) in Q1 2013.

Total revenues for the full year were $413.3 million, compared to $204.2 million in 2011. Of the 2012 revenue, $385.7 million was from automotive sales. Total GAAP net losses for 2012 were $396.2 million, with a non-GAAP net loss of $344.2 million.

Q4 also saw the completion of various milestones under the Mercedes-Benz B- Class EV program which contributed to total development services revenue of $12 million. Tesla also continued to deliver full electric powertrains at a steady pace to Toyota for the RAV4 EV program.

From Q3 to Q4, total gross margin rose from -17% to almost 8%, as a result of a higher Model S production rate, the move to production prices for certain Model S parts, sale of regulatory credits and margin contribution from development services, the company said.

Since we are now producing cars at steady state production, we have shifted our focus to cost reduction. As a result, the cost of producing Model S is beginning to decline. Our operations in 2013 are already more efficient compared to Q4, as we continue to stabilize and improve the production process. In addition, further cost reduction efforts undertaken by both us and our suppliers will continue to reduce costs in Q1 and in upcoming quarters. Consequently, we expect gross margin to continue to improve towards our 25% target by year-end.

—Shareholder letter from Elon Musk and Deepak Ahuja (CFO)

The company ened the year with more than $221 million in total cash. Short term restricted cash is primarily for the second DoE loan payment due in March 2013. In Q4 2012, negative free cash flow was $102 million, down by almost 40% from the prior quarter. In the month of December, the company generated positive free cash flow, through growing sales and careful working capital management. reservations at year end, were over 15,000, up from about 13,000 at the end of Q3. New reservations continue at a steady, although slower pace in Q1 2013, as compared to December, due in part to the pull ahead of reservations into Q4 by customers seeking to avoid the price increase. Q1 cancellations are likely to remain elevated as the remaining older reservation holders are invited to configure their vehicles within a set timeframe or pay the higher price just like new reservation holders.

—Shareholder letter

Tesla plans to deliver about 20,000 Model S units in 2013, starting with about 4,500 deliveries in Q1. European deliveries of the Model S start this summer and Asian deliveries later this year.

Tesla said it plans to spend significantly less on capital expenditures in 2013 than in 2012, as the majority of our investment in the Tesla Factory and Model S tooling is done. This reduction will be partially offset by expenditures related to expanding the service and store network, investing in new capital equipment and tooling to reduce variable costs and new product development.


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So in January 2013 Tesla produced about 1800 model S that is more than any other plug-in car delivered in January 2013 in the US market. The volt did 1140 the leaf did 650, the Prius plug-in did 874 the cmax energy did 338. See

Moreover, the vast majority of Model S sells with a 85kwh battery pack so 1800 model s compares battery pack with to sell about 7000 Nissan leaf per months. Measured this way Tesla is the world's largest buyer of lithium battery cells for automotives. That means lower prices than the competition.

I am amazed by how well this company and their CEO are doing. However, for Tesla to survive long-term they need to get to over 100,000 cars per years so that they can procure all the other car parts at competitive prices versus the competition.


To say that since Tesla is the world's largest buyer of lithium battery cells for automobiles it will have lower prices than the competition, is simplistic.

If they had no options or flexibility as to delivery date, shape, etc they might have paid more than a large company that could afford to just delay introduction or "underproduce" what the buyers would buy, if battery costs were too high.

Volume, years of development and money invested do not guarantee market success - there are no guarantees in the market place.


Tesla as a customer of 18650 cells is large, very large.

At 20,000 cars per year and ~6,000 cells per car, they consume as much as a reasonably sized country, say France or Canada.


VERY impressive progress. Thanks Henrik for the sales numbers. Looks like between Tesla and Chevy VOLT, the US entries in EV PHEVs is doing very well. What I do expect is to see the Model S sales drive consumer awareness up. This will bring more people to the lower end entries Leaf and plugin Prius.

And despite jackass John Broder convincing the world the New York Times is just another agenda21 rag tap dancing to the petro-dollar - the word of mouth on Tesla is spectacular. All in all an impressive display of ingenuity from EV makers - with Tesla now clearly heading the pack. Congratulations.


Will Tesla need the financial and technical assistance of a major like TMC to mass produce and sell 100,000+ EVs/year?

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