Tesla Model S
  • Tesla Model S
  • Tesla Model S

  • tesla model s
  • tesla model s

  • Tesla Model S
  • Tesla Model S

  • Tesla Model S
  • Tesla Model S

  • Tesla Model S
  • Tesla Model S

  • Tesla Model S
  • Tesla Model S

  • Tesla Model S
  • Tesla Model S

  • Tesla Model S
  • Tesla Model S

  • Tesla Model S
  • Tesla Model S

  • Image Credit: Tesla Motors
  • Image Credit: Tesla Motors
  • Image Credit: Tesla Motors
  • Image Credit: Tesla Motors
  • Image Credit: Tesla Motors
News flash: Elon Musk is thinking big.

The Tesla Motors founder has never been conservative with his hopes for his electric-vehicle company, and he didn't disappoint at Tesla's recent annual shareholder meeting, forecasting 2013 vehicle sales of the Tesla Model S sedan at 20,000 units, Automotive News reports. Musk went further, forecasting 35,000 sales in 2014, when Tesla adds the Model X crossover to its lineup.

Additionally, Musk says Tesla can achieve positive cash flow with annual sales of just 8,000 vehicles. Tesla hasn't exactly been swimming in profits. It widened its first-quarter loss by 84 percent from a year earlier to $89.9 million as it ramped up production of the Model S.

Musk, who said Tesla's 2012 revenue will more than double to somewhere between $560 million and $600 million, added that the Model S will debut in Europe and Japan in six months and will go on sale in China next year.

To put Musk's 20,000-vehicle forecast in context, BMW moved about 50,000 units of its 5-Series vehicles in the U.S. last year, while Mercedes-Benz sold about 70,000 C-Class models. Still, the Model S's 20,000 sales would be about double what Audi sold of its slightly cheaper A6 last year.

Tesla previously forecast Model S sales for 2012 at 5,000 units. The company said in May that a test of its longest-range Model S produced a single-charge trip of more than 300 miles, beating the company's goal. The Model S' starting price is $57,400, though getting a top-of-the-line version will cost nearly double that. The Model S may be pricey, but it's also popular. Tesla said earlier this week that it has already sold out if its top-of-the-line 'Signature' version, which costs $105,400.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 57 Comments
      super390
      • 3 Years Ago
      Questions: Will the very high % of the upper level models in Tesla's wait lists mean that Tesla will gross a billion dollars next year? Will that gross placate the rapacious investment community even though it will just be breaking even, because of the prospect of future growth? How strong is the loyalty of luxury car buyers to their brands? Those more than others rely on reputation, which won't be shaken easily. However, is the vast increase in wealth among the global upper class enough that they will buy Teslas in addition to their favorite brands because of its unique advantages? Are there non-personal applications for the S? I've read about the unique limousine market in NYC, which is entirely based on the out-of-production Lincoln Town Car due to its non-monocoque construction which is cheaper to repair. But the Tesla's aluminum fenders may be easier for a local body shop to repair than steel, depending on the characteristics of the alloy. I think that a stripped-down, ruggedized 7-seat Model S could have a future shuttling wealthy visitors around town, and its glass roof would be a marvel to look out of on Fifth Avenue. I could imagine a Lincoln having to do a tough highway/downtown run from the airport burning $12 of NYC gasoline per hour, while we know the Tesla will expend very little in stop & go traffic. Is this enough to make it viable?
        Letstakeawalk
        • 3 Years Ago
        @super390
        "But the Tesla's aluminum fenders may be easier for a local body shop to repair than steel..." Not just an aluminum body, but an aluminum *chassis*. Your local body shop isn't equipped for that.
          super390
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          I just wanted to know if a body shop could repair a Tesla's fenders as cheaply as a Lincoln's, given that both are made out of materials that are less brittle than modern steel unit bodies. Frame damage is not a routine matter in any car built in modern times. I had the chance to ride in the back of a typical slightly-stretched Town Car recently. It's so quiet that there's not much room for an electric to improve there. However, it's out of production, and the V-8 engine that made it possible is probably going to be relegated to exotics in a few years. It seems that this niche can only be filled by a large American car or SUV, and I hope it's not going to be SUVs. I think the Chrysler 300 and Tesla S are the only ones that look right for the role.
          Rotation
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          er, and by aluminum, I mean aluminum frames. Audi A8s have had aluminum frames for 15 years or so and Z06s/ZR1s for over 5 years.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          No doubt, there are specialist shops that can handle aluminum work, but super390 was referring to "a local body shop". Here's a list of authorized Audi aluminum repair shops (by no means a definitive list - but Audi trusts them so the should be fine by Tesla): http://www.audiusa.com/us/brand/en/owners/audi_service/repair_centers/authorized_collision.html#source=http://www.audiusa.com/us/brand/en/owners/audi_service/repair_centers/audi_aluminum_collision.html&container=page As far as the Corvette guys - most of what I'm reading is that a cracked or bent frame is pretty much considered totaled. The fix is often very involved, requiring cutting out the damaged section and welding a new replacement section, and then reinforcing the welds with sleeves. On a high-perf sports car, that just adds weight - and the car is never quite right again. Best option is a new 'Vette. Aluminum body panels are by nature much simpler to repair than a damaged frame, but the unibody chassis of the Tesla pretty much guarantees the frame is going to be damaged in a serious accident.
          Rotation
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          I'm sure there is a local body shop for me that can do it. Someone has to fix Audi A8s and Corvette Z06s/ZR1s, those have been aluminum for some time now. I live in a big city.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I think it's doable if they avoid quality issues. A better comparison would be to the Mercedes E Class (vs C) and the sales rate of the new Audi A6 (in addition to the 5 series).
        PR
        • 3 Years Ago
        I agree. The C class cars will compete more with Tesla's future BlueStar class of vehicles.
      Rotation
      • 3 Years Ago
      If they can build that many, I expect they can sell them, at least in the first year. There's a lot of pent-up demand for an upscale sedan EV with good range.
      marcopolo
      • 3 Years Ago
      Tremendously exciting ! Tesla's launch has come at exactly the right time to re-ignite interest in EV's, and will help to silence those who complain about government investment. The successful sale of 20,000 Tesla's will delight EV supporters, lift moral and silence critics of EV technology. Tesla, has raised expectations and hopefully the Tesla 'S' will be the 'breakthrough' vehicle in EV's, as the Prius was to hybrids. Elon Musk and his team have every reason to be immensely proud of this historic achievement.
        Ford Future
        • 3 Years Ago
        @marcopolo
        Looks like a Lot of Republicans have decided to : FLUSH RUSH, and buy an Electric, an AMERICAN Electric.
          Marco Polo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Ford Future
          Ford Future That can only be good thing, right ? And it's not just republicans at fault, I was recently in Baltimore, (a democrat stronghold for over 150 years), the city couldn't find the funding to expand on few experimental Diesel/ Hybrid buses built by DesignLine and operated on Charm City Circulator route, to the rest of the fleet. Perhaps because former Mayor Sheila Dixon (D) was too busy working on her astonishingly lenient plea sentencing deal for embezzlement of Public and charity funds, to pay for her families numerous 6.2-litre V8 Cadillac Escalades and collection of mink coats ! In fairness, the new Mayor, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake (D) seems truly committed to alternative fuel transport
      Ugo Sugo
      • 3 Years Ago
      for 25K I would certainly buy one! Even the shortest ranged one! I a man with humble aspirations ;-)
        Ford Future
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Ugo Sugo
        Lease an iMiev, and upgrade every 3 years, you'll get there.
      kEiThZ
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm a big fan of Tesla. But I don't think they'll hit that sales target. They don't have enough showrooms. And the cars still come with significant limitations. And price tags. They'll sell more than 20 000 cars annually some day. But I don't think that day will be any time in 2013.
      DaveMart
      • 3 Years Ago
      Danny, You seem to be hopelessly confounding US sales and world sales. Why are you comparing what I assume to be Tesla's target of 20,000 sales everywhere in the world with BMW's sales of the 5 series in the US alone?
        • 3 Years Ago
        @DaveMart
        Dave, Thanks for the encouraging words, but for now, you'll find my work elsewhere on the web writing on the virtues of plug in cars.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @DaveMart
        Dave you're spot on. Quoting BMW "The BMW 5 Series solidified its position as segment leader, with a total of 310,050 vehicles delivered to customers in 2011." That's worldwide.
          DaveMart
          • 3 Years Ago
          Eric, come back, all is forgiven! ;-)
          super390
          • 3 Years Ago
          It's mind-boggling to me that BMW moves 300,000 of those fat calves a year. But an explanation may be found in a story from about six years ago that Iraqis' favorite car was the BMW sedan, because it was physically solid enough to survive the horrible road conditions and occasional shootings during the occupation and civil war. What seems like a luxury for the housewives of Beverly Hills is a good investment against future instability, an unarmed tank, in many places. How should Tesla approach those markets?
        Spec
        • 3 Years Ago
        @DaveMart
        Yeah, the comparisons to the US market alone are bad. The Tesla number is for the world market. And the world market is pretty big. But he is going for a pretty healthy share of that market with a brand new automaker using an unconventional drivetrain. It is possible but it all depends on the consumers. He'll sell a lot here in Silicon Valley but I don't he sells many to Arab sheiks. Europe should be a decent market . . . especially in places where EVs get no congestion fees, carpool lane privileges, and special parking privileges.
          super390
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Spec
          The irony is, in some Arab countries, especially Saudi, electricity is produced by burning oil because their prosperity made them indifferent to the need to build infrastructure to burn anything else. Now that their oil production is maxed out and their domestic consumption is growing, they seem to be switching over to natural gas and even solar as a source of electricity to free up more oil for export. Will they ever feel the same way about cars?
          Spec
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Spec
          @super390 They are TRYING to switch to natural gas but except for Iran, many of the countries don't have much natural gas. And yes, they need to ramp up their solar efforts big time in order to free up more oil for export. It is a crazy waste of resources to burn oil for electricity. Next up, they need to stop subsidizing their local gas prices so much. But they are fearful of the backlash from consumers.
      MTN RANGER
      • 3 Years Ago
      I know I'm tempted to buy one when my lease is up. Biggest problem for me is no local dealership/service - closest is 4.5 hours away.
        PR
        • 3 Years Ago
        @MTN RANGER
        "Biggest problem for me is no local dealership/service - closest is 4.5 hours away." That's easy to fix. Just speed at double the speed limit. Now the dealership will be only just over 2 hours away.... *grin*
        Letstakeawalk
        • 3 Years Ago
        @MTN RANGER
        Tesla has their mobile service rangers that will be able to come to you.
      Letstakeawalk
      • 3 Years Ago
      As a global sales number, that seems doable.
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm all for it but I have a doubt
        Spec
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        So you believe in 9/11 conspiracy theories, that aliens visit earth, and that gays are all going to hell . . . . but you can't believe they have a chance at selling 20K cars? Oh ye of little faith!
          marcopolo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Spec
          @Spec, Perhaps it might help if you convinced DF, that Elon Musk is an alien, and that he's really building a spacecraft to return home.......?
        Smoking_dude
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        less doubtfull the dan has to be
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        Dan can haz doubtburger?
      Grendal
      • 3 Years Ago
      The performance version P85 badge is etched with "Phase Current Amplification." Which just sounds cool. Also Jurvetson's Model S is etched on the Tesla T with "founder."
      • 3 Years Ago
      Just wait until upscale women realize they don't have to go to the gas station anymore. They're going to sell everything they make.
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