"The future is now" may be well-worn cliche, but when it comes to Tesla Motors' stock price performance, "now" is all about the future.

The high-end electric-vehicle maker said Wednesday that its fourth-quarter loss widened 59 percent from a year earlier as research and development expenses surged in advance of this year's debut of the company's Model S sedan and the development of the Model X crossover set to launch late next year.

Tesla's net loss widened to $81.5 million, up from $51.4 million a year earlier. While sales rose 8.5 percent to $39.4 million, R&D expenses rose faster – at a 63 percent clip – to $61.2 million.

Still, investors didn't seem to mind, as Tesla stock was up about 1 percent in Nasdaq trading at about 2:30 Eastern time Thursday. That's because the company said 2012 sales will be between $550 million and $600 million, with deliveries of the Model S expected to be in the 5,000-unit range. Analysts in a Thomson Reuters poll forecast Tesla's 2012 sales to be $521.5 million.

Tesla's Model S is set to start deliveries by July. The sedan is touted to have the longest range between charges of any mass-produced electric vehicle when it goes on sale, and will be offered with three range options: 160 miles, 230 miles and 300 miles. Prices start at $57,400 (before federal tax credits) for the 160-mile version, with a premium of about $20,000 for the 300-mile version.

Meanwhile, last week, Tesla unveiled its Model X crossover electric vehicle at its Southern California design studios and said the CUV would start production late next year. The Model X, which has the much-discussed "falcon-wing" rear doors similar to those of the old Mercedes-Benz gull winged doors, is expected to have a base price similar to the Model S and will be able to go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 4.4 seconds, or 0.2 seconds quicker than a Porsche 911.

Since the unveiling, Tesla said it generated more than $40 million in advance sales for the Model X through more than 500 pre-orders, making the CUV the fastest-selling Tesla model to date. Model S reservations also jumped 30 percent after the unveiling.

Tesla last year stopped production of its battery-electric Roadster in the U.S., though last month said it would make final versions of the model available this year in Europe, Asia and Australia, where the company's Model S sedan is not yet available. Tesla has sold more than 2,100 Roadsters in 31 countries since debuting the $109,000 model in four years ago.


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  • 14 Comments
      EVSUPERHERO
      • 3 Years Ago
      For 2013 Tesla will add accelerationregen as a option to all their vehicles, the cars won't have anymore range but it will be a nice option just in case.
      paulwesterberg
      • 3 Years Ago
      I think it is great how Tesla unveils their products, they pay amazing attention to detail and produce a working, driving, prototype which has already been highly refined. Sure the frunk latch could use some work, and the seat need to have more adjustment, but the vehicle looks 90% complete from a design standpoint. So much better than cad renderings, rolling shells and slapdash vehicles most companies display as concepts at car shows.
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 3 Years Ago
        @paulwesterberg
        It's that northern California flavor, inspired by Apple.. you see it in anything that comes out of silicon valley.. kinda funny imho.
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 3 Years Ago
      btw, the 2100 sales of roadsters should raise eyebrows at ABG since they earlier reported tesla's lie that 2600 had been sold. (dec 16th) of course I pointed out it was a lie but why listen to me..
      Nick
      • 3 Years Ago
      It's all good, the Model S will be available soon, which should change things quite a bit.
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 3 Years Ago
      will be interesting to see what happens to tesla motors. could be explosive either way. might be a short squeeze explosion on the stock market too either way. it's quite a bubble they are blowing there : ) should they survive (I still doubt it) I hope they start making relevant cars. the model S and X have been built for his personal situation. a guy with 5 kids and unlimited budget. a fairly small demographic.
      Letstakeawalk
      • 3 Years Ago
      "...similar to those of the old Mercedes-Benz gull winged doors..." The 2012 Mercedes SLS still comes with those "old" doors.
        paulwesterberg
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Letstakeawalk
        It's too bat that abg blogers can't be arsed to read their own site... http://green.autoblog.com/2011/01/10/mercedes-benz-sls-amg-e-cell-detroit-2011/
      • 1 Year Ago
      TSLA is a huge oppty in the making. The technology and the Model S are very compelling. If you don't believe it... drive one. If they hit the projected 35,000 sales for 2014, that will be over $3B in sales. With a current market cap of less than $5B, they will be very undervalued. Factor in the growth rate that is surely 3-digit and the sales have a huge upside.
      EVSUPERHERO
      • 3 Years Ago
      For 2013 Tesla will add accelerationregen as a option to all their vehicles, the cars won't have anymore range but it will be a nice option just in case.
        Nick
        • 3 Years Ago
        @EVSUPERHERO
        I wasn't aware Teslas didn't have regen braking. Good to hear that range will be extended further thanks to this addition.
        Letstakeawalk
        • 3 Years Ago
        @EVSUPERHERO
        The Model S was designed with regenerative braking from the start... EV Superhero is making a joke referring to this: http://green.autoblog.com/2012/02/15/perpetual-motion-regenerative-acceleration-returns-as-regenx-i/
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 3 Years Ago
        @EVSUPERHERO
        Wait - they don't have regen already? And they're getting that kind of mileage? Should be good for saving brakes and a nice 5%-10% energy savings bonus anyway..
        Dan Frederiksen
        • 3 Years Ago
        @EVSUPERHERO
        if it is a joke it's not the best execution ever
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