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Tesla delivered 10,030 vehicles in Q1 2015

Tesla Motors announced that it delivered, in total, 10,030 cars in the first quarter (Q1) of 2015—a new company record for the most deliveries in a quarter and a 55% increase over Q1 last year. Tesla does not break out deliveries by region.

The release of deliveries so close to the end of the quarter is a break in pattern for the company. Tesla said it will maintain the practice of publishing the number of new car deliveries within three days of quarter end because “inaccurate sources” of information are sometimes used by others to project the number of vehicle deliveries.

Tesla said there there may be small changes to this delivery count (usually well under 1%), as Tesla only counts a delivery if it is transferred to the end customer and all paperwork is correct.

Deliveries, reminded Tesla, are only one measure of its financial performance and “should not be relied on as an indicator of our quarterly financial results, which depend on a variety of factors, including the cost of sales, foreign exchange movements and mix of directly leased vehicles.”

Comments

Brotherkenny4

DD should be along any moment to rant of GAP accounting.

Davemart

Its GAAP and this may include unknown numbers of the ~2,000 cars that it had sitting in parking lots in China, where the deposit was paid and delivery refused.

Davemart

They had a target of 50,000 Model S cars a year, so they need to deliver around 13,500 per quarter in the next three quarters.
I don't see where that is coming from.

Herman

Acolyte or skeptic, you have to be happy that Tesla seems to be adopting a policy of reasonable delivery reporting. Although there is really no reason not to have these numbers up monthly (and by geographic region), this is a great start and should be applauded.

Davemart, the total must surely include the 1400 cars "undelivered" at the end of Q4 (mentioned in the Shareholder letter, delayed for vacations and snow and other stuff) PLUS the 2000 or so in China that were NOT mentioned by Musk/Ahuja but evident in the huge Finished Goods Inventory that was never explained.

I think Tesla was due to buy a round of transparency for the whole tavern: the stalled inventory in China unacknowledged in the 11 Feb CC really was a material misrepresentation by anyone's measure. Today's release is welcome.

Of course, the coming secondary needs to be backed by some good news prior to Q1's expected rough earnings/(loss) picture, and I hereby predict that there will be a raise this month. (Apparently Goldman Sachs thinks so, too. Remember they were the big underwriter for last year's $2B-ish Convertible Bond issue? Patrick Archambault more or less tipped us all off in his last report that there's a raise coming soon.)

Financial results are a long time coming (5 May), so like every closely-watched issue there will be plenty of it for the next month. The analysts' consensus is for (0.49) non-GAAP, which translates to about ($60M) without counting option costs, lease accounting, interest, and other things. GAAP losses will exceed ($125M), if the consensus is right. Don't forget that the large majority of those analysts carry a "buy" or "hold" position, so I'm not quoting a bunch of luddite
meanie
Republican
oil shill
earth-trashing
NADA
Tesla haters.
Morgan Stanley's Adam Jonas, who says TSLA could be valued at $1900 long before Musk Goes to Mars, is calling for about double the non-GAAP loss at (0.99).

As exciting as today's news was, the speculation was slowed only for a moment.

Davemart

@Herman:
To be honest, this sounds to me like a full speed ahead and damn the torpedoes, a Hail Mary or a doubling down on the red according to choice of metaphor.
Tesla has a long history of restricting access to information more and more as any given indicator turned sour, and this is something of a hostage to fortune, as these figures are relatively convenient.
How well they will stand up to subsequent analysis must await events and further analysis, but this and the 'new product, not a car' tweet seem to me to be preparation for one more capital raising exercise.

IMO they are still in severe difficulties in sustaining their meme that they are: 'only limited by supply, not demand' but doubtless enthusiasts will believe that they can make their target of 50k plus Model S cars plus however many Model X cars this year.

With poor sales in China, I doubt it, but we will see.
Two more quarters and the answer should be clear to all.

Engineer-Poet

As I recall, Lincolns or the like used to be the favorite mobster car of Japan.  Perhaps Tesla could move some there, so the mobsters can green up their image.

Herman

I can't disagree with your sensibilities here, Davemart. Let me say that while a lot of people don't wish to read a tome on TSLA the financial issue, the fact that I always end up there is inevitable.

Tesla as we know it - with $B in PP&E assets and hundreds of $M in production inventory for cars that ultimately do not make money - exists today ONLY because of Wall Street. In spite of the fact that Tesla supporters (and TSLA shareholders) loathe the endless discussion of GAAP vs non-GAAP and rail against "speculators" and "short-term, EPS-obsessed Wall Street", the very fact of its stratospheric valuation and wild volatility is the reason why it attracted the money needed to fund the enterprise to date.

In the net over the company's existence it has not generated cash from its operations. It is funded solely through financing, and the mechanisms of that financing are founded on the share value and all the machinations behind it.

Here's just one aspect of the confounding role of Wall Street blood money in the survival of this amazing company. Tesla offered Convertible Bonds to raise up to $1.6B in 2014. Why Convertible Bonds? Well, among other reasons, they are very attractive as hedging instruments for trading in volatile stock. While not a majority, a significant fraction of Bond purchasers are using it as an instrument to hedge against a short position in an arbitrage strategy. Yes: Bond values were driven up BY SHORTS, which helped to fund the business. Moreover, the issuance was attractive enough to create a "greenshoe" opportunity of an additional $300M or so. Goldman Sachs was the main beneficiary of this windfall, in which they were allotted a number of shares to use for a variety of purposes, one of which was... anyone? ... to lend out for short sales.

If TSLA (the share issue) was not the hot, wildly valued and volcanically volatile stock that it is, the raise would not have been nearly as successful in a company without a likely source of earnings and cash from operations (as Tesla is). The volatility, in turn, comes from all the (arguably undue) attention that the stock gets in trading chatter around the market.

Long live Wall Street, and long live TSLA stock talk.

Herman

E-P, the last time I was in Japan it looks like Escalades were still the choice of Yakuza bosses, driven around by snarling dudes missing a digit or two.

Davemart

@Herman:
Yep, the fix is in.
Classic stock pump, by the same guys who gave us the real estate boom.
IMO Tesla was a fine engineering company, doing exciting things to bring electric mobility to people before it got Musked.

He is no doubt a fine engineer, but in cahoots with the ever fragrant Goldman Sachs is sure doing God's will now, which seems to involve carrying on in the fine tradition of never giving a sucker a break and milking any ideal of moving on from fossil fuels for every cent.

Herman

Dave, while I needle Musk's image quite frequently here, I hope all can see it's in good fun. Mostly I take the real pokes at people who worship the guy. Deifying people is always, unfailingly the path to great disillusionment at best, with much graver consequences most of the time.

And honestly, it's tough for the deified NOT to be corrupted. At this point it has to be impossible for Musk to recognize when he makes a mistake without immediate negative physical feedback (like slamming a door on his finger). That's why he says stuff like this (June 20, 2013), believes it with all his heart, and will never feel the need to modify or retract it: "So when you come to a Tesla station you won't have to do anything; in fact you'll have a choice. You've seen our Supercharging stations that we're establishing throughout the country? We're going to have battery pack swap at every one of those."

As for Goldman et al... well, what can you do? They know exactly how to parlay this mania into wealth. Try not to make moral judgments, rather only legal and financial ones. The fact that one side of GS business was deriding mortgage-backed securities while the other side was cheerfully and confidently issuing them is something that isn't worth your ire today. Just do your best to understand the numbers, know the rules that these guys operate under, be realistic about human behavior, and by all means keep your hand on your wallet. Along the way you can make some money, too. As Gordon G. would say, "It's all about bucks, kid. The rest is conversation."

In the meantime give credit where it is due in Tesla's acceleration of the public's acceptance of electrification and the wave that has followed.

Account Deleted

Tesla expected in their February account announcement that they would deliver 9,500 for Q1, 2015. So just 45 days later they actually delivered 10,030 cars for Q1. Anyway 55% annual growth is much better than the growth by the Volt or the Leaf in Q1, 2015. I expect that by Q4, 2015 Tesla will be the world's largest plug-in manufacturer both by number of cars delivered and (as they currently already are) by the kwh used for the delivered BEVs. Q4 will probably see between 17,000 to 18,000 delivered model s and x.

I predict that 2015 and even 2016 will be modest growth years for plug-ins with only Tesla growing fast. Most people are waiting to buy a BEV until they come with longer range (over 150 miles EPA rated and cost less than 40k USD) and that will probably not happen until 2017. However, Nissan cold surprise with something for 2016. After that the growth for BEVs will accelerate and when the first fully autonomous BEVs come in 2020-2025 the market for BEVs will simply explode and transform the entire industry globally.

electric-car-insider.com

Growth of EVs are on track according to CARB ZEV mandates. Those mandates double in 2018 and we'll see those sales in beginning in 2017. They ratchet up 1% of major OEM sales volume each year after that.

Until there is wide scale demand creation (awareness and education) that is all you will see in the US from most major OEMs, BMW, Nissan and Chevy excepted.

Tesla has some 20,000 reservation holders for Model X. Has there ever been a new car release with so many willing advance purchasers, none of whom have ever driven the car?

There's something more than stock pumping going on here. I'm just curious, DaveMart and Herman, have you ever driven a Model S?

HarveyD

Sooner or latter, TESLA may have to move some production facilities to China and/or other places in ASIA to expand its market and market share.

Another mega battery factory in China (with a local partner) may be required for the Asian market.

Davemart

ECI:

Since you simply ignore the question when asked point blank if you have any relevant qualifications at all which lead you to be utterly dismissive of the opinions of Uchiyamada-san, the qualified physicist and leader of the Prius project who is CBO of Toyota and thinks that fuel cell cars have possibilities, and the 500 engineers he has working on them, I can't see why I should bother answering your questions.

Since that is clearly too embarrassing for you to come clean about your ignorance allied to know it all certainties, here is a simpler one for you:

How many of the 20,000 orders for the Model X are still live?

Clue: According to the Tesla forums, the Model S had 40% cancellations, although they did not have to hang around nearly so long as for the Model X.

Once a name is down, then regardless of cancellations it does not come off Tesla figures.

electric-car-insider.com

DaveMart, you've already publicly lectured others here about not being a Cardinal, so take your own medicine and save yourself the embarrassment of appearing to be both a callow cynic and a hypocrite at the same time.

Unlike the armchair Tesla critics, I troubled myself to purchase one and drive it all over the country to see if it would really stand up. After 30,000 long distance miles in a year I have sufficient qualifications to say it's the most remarkable car I've ever owned. As a former automotive professional and enthusiast, I'll admit I've owned some very nice cars.

I'm partial to all of my 19 electric vehicles but it's hard to deny that the Tesla is the best of the lot. By a very wide margin.

I realize that 19 vehicles sounds gluttonous, but it's all in the name of diligent research, and I share. Anyone Interested in driving the Tesla or any of the other EVs is welcome to look me up at Electric Car Guest Drive (see link in profile or Google it). New meet-ups this spring.

I know it would just kill you to get out of the house and go drive one DaveMart, but really, you owe it to yourself to see why people rave about the Model S. Tesla doesn't even charge a deposit to drive anymore. Go on you old crank. I dare you.

Herman

E-C-I:
I guess I forgot to mention it in a prior post, but yes, I did finally drive a Tesla. It was a late ’13 production P85 owned by a gracious local guy who, like you, gives people a chance to try it out. Very pleasant and I enjoyed it quite a bit.

Don’t forget I am already an EV pilot as a lessee of a ’12 Leaf (STILL has 12 bars) that is my daily driver. I also briefly had a Volt as a company-leased car. I get the whole EV-experience thing in terms of smoothness, quiet, etc. and the attendant disconcerting feeling upon re-entering an ICE car. You may not know that I am probably one of a very tiny contingent of Leaf people who also had a GT-R (2010). So I am also fairly nonplussed by the idea of getting to 100kph under 3.5 seconds.

Would I LIKE to have a simple pedal to the floor, no launch-control-drama version with the same performance? Yes. This is one of the things that Tesla “revealed” to the general public, and clearly they have shown there is a market for high-performance EVs, a market that appears to be in addition to the extant performance car niches, which caught many of us by surprise.

[As a personal note, owing to a progressive neuro-muscular problem, the GT-R found a new home since I am no longer trustworthy driving in a situation requiring athletic driving skills.]

Believe me, I get the whole appeal of the car. But there is not enough margin at this point to make the projected business model work even if the P85D shaves another 0.1 sec off the 0-60 time. The 17” screen can’t make up for growing cash used in Operations. At some point you need cash. Tesla gets it from raises. They’re going to do one soon, or they’ll have to curtail all the investments that shareholders expect to see executed. If the growth story fades, the impetus to attract suppliers, the promise of option value to talented people… all those things sag. I’m not predicting BK for TSLA. That’s the wishful thinking of the few very vocal true Tesla “haters”, to use a silly term. (Hmmm… I guess it’s actually “h8terz”.) But their EV leadership role in the industry will be diminished.

Project the CARB-driven market you have defined here, make an optimistic version of NPV of cash flows and it’s just not enough to create the AAPL-equivalent valuation that Musk described in the CC, or for that matter enough to prevent a PLUG or BLDP-type of decline without oodles more borrowing.

electric-car-insider.com

I appreciate hearing your views and I always learn something from your posts Herman.

I won't be surprised at all if Tesla raises more money. They certainly have enough people willing to give it to them and at current valuations it's a big win for them.

A lot of people seem stuck in the belief that Tesla only makes $100k cars for a very small market and if that's all they did, I'd be less impressed. But they are building the foundation for becoming the next leading global automotive OEM and that accomplishment will support even the most optimistic projections today (Goldman).

The comparison to two fuel cell developers is actually particularly astute as a contra-example. These are companies that truly have no future because from first principles, the technology can not compete, and we see that in the marketplace now.

I've posted elsewhere about the opportunity for Tesla's residential battery solution, so I won't repeat it here. But that product is considerable easier to bring to market, is a no brainer for the consumer, and Tesla has a nearly captive retailer/installer in Solar City.

There very well may be swings on the way up as people grapple with the implications and the market does its hula. David Crane understands what is about to happen.

Musk is ten steps ahead of everyone in both conception and execution. The comparison to Apple is apt.

Glad to hear you got to spend some wheel time with a Model S. If you're ever in Seattle or San Diego please look me up.

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