According to its Third Quarter 2012 Shareholder Letter, Tesla "is now at over 200 cars per week or 10,000 cars per year, which is at the critical threshold needed for Tesla to generate positive operating cash flow."

That's an important milestone to be sure, but the news is actually even better; Tesla expects to ramp Model S production up to 400 cars per week (20,000 units/year) by December of 2012, and says it will deliver 2,500 to 3,000 units in the fourth quarter of 2012. That's lower than the previous target of 5,000 in 2012, but it's more an issue of delayed achievement rather than missing the mark altogether.

All of that production bodes well for the future, but as of today, the automaker has yet to earn real money. Revenue for the third quarter of 2012 was $50 million, equating to a net loss of about $110 million after expenses were tallied. The stock market likes the numbers, with TSLA shares rising 8.9 percent on Monday after the report was released.

With production up to 400 cars per week, we're pretty sure company CEO Elon Musk isn't able to personally inspect each Model S as he was when Tesla was producing fewer than 80 cars per week. In any case, accolades have been rolling in for the Model S, with two recent scores including being named Automobile Car of the Year and one of the 25 Best Inventions of the year by Time Magazine.

Check out Tesla's complete Q3 earnings report here.


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  • 76 Comments
      paulwesterberg
      • 2 Years Ago
      Besides Model S production Tesla is going to be making money on the side by selling drive-trains to Toyota for the Rav4 EV. When the largest automaker in the world needs your tech to put together a quality EV you are doing it right.
      Brodz
      • 2 Years Ago
      This comment is here for the purpose of down voting. Please down vote this comment.
        purrpullberra
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Brodz
        But really, did you hear about Automobile of the year? Or read Motor Trend's reviews? Yeah, there is not a lot of history and experience but that doesn't mean it can't be the best car in the world, now. Keep an open mind and realize that no one car is ever going to be 'perfect' for a majority of people. It might not work for you personally but as currently built, it works for a LOT of people. 10,000 people have deposits with Tesla that have never driven the car. When it gets more accolades the wealthy will buy these in the 10's of thousands per year. It's getting closer to guaranteed. It's a kickass car.
        purrpullberra
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Brodz
        Are you kidding, I'm so mad.... -1000 for you! :)
      Grendal
      • 2 Years Ago
      And this just in: Tesla just sent out invites to a party on November 12th. That is coincidentally the day that Motor Trend announces its Car of the Year. Just connecting the dots people...
      VIPER94
      • 2 Years Ago
      Now they just have to find a way to make them cheaper
        Grendal
        • 2 Years Ago
        @VIPER94
        That would be the Generation III car due out in 2015/2016. It will start at $30K and be a smaller version of the Model S. A loaded version will probably hit $50K to $60K, however.
        Electron
        • 2 Years Ago
        @VIPER94
        I would like Audi and Jaguar to make their cars cheaper too, but alas these are just not bargain basement cars.
          Grendal
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Electron
          And if Audi and Jaguar did make them cheaper they probably wouldn't be a car you would want to buy then.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        mawhalen53
        • 2 Years Ago
        Oh man. Years of hating and doubting and talking smack, and suddenly the Model S is in production and is the Automobile car of the year. What's left to complain about??? Uh... the price I guess?
          pmpjunkie01
          • 2 Years Ago
          @mawhalen53
          Don't mind him, he just posts idiotic drivel anyways.
        raktmn
        • 2 Years Ago
        peter_nixon was bragging about 7-series on another thread. Guess what troll is back using yet another name! Why does this troll keep getting away with making more and more new names after being banned over and over?
        brotherkenny4
        • 2 Years Ago
        Note these are average prices. Average Luxury car transaction price BMW - $52,083, MB - $48,382, Cadillac - $48,312, Audi - $43,668, Lincoln - $43,074, Lexus - $42,902, Infiniti - $42,334, Acura - $37,538, Volvo - $35,671. These are probably purchased by those elitist liberals with their doctorate degrees, but apparently many people do spend a lot on their cars. I would argue that they gain no functionality, since the Geo Metro could supply you with the basics of transportation. Indeed, any person who buys a car more expensive than a Geo Metro is really just wasting their money. Don't you agree Peter?
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        raktmn
        • 2 Years Ago
        Thanks for bringing up the comparison to the Prius. In the US, the Prius sold 5,000 in their first year, 15,000 in their second year. It took until their third year to hit 20,000 in sales for the Prius in the US, and Tesla is doing it in just their second year selling a much more expensive and much more revolutionary of a vehicle. Using your Prius comparison, the Model S is on track to be even more of a success than the Prius, and Tesla has a number of more models already lined up in development!
        purrpullberra
        • 2 Years Ago
        Got personality disorder? Yup! The ModelS is an historic achievement marked here by having turned one person into a troll.
        EChid
        • 2 Years Ago
        God, you're one of "those" people. 1. The Prius sells in tremendous numbers worldwide, even compared to other mainstream products. It also starts in the mid $20k. The S does not, and should not be compared to it. 2. You clearly don't grasp why the comparison is made (however accurately). Is it because every person can afford to buy one? No. Is it because it fundamentally changed the way a person living in North America transported themselves? Yes, most likely (again, however accurate this is). Saying the model S isn't like the Model T because the sales aren't the same is completely failing to grasp the differences present in society at the time. Where one offered a way to travel much greater distances much more quickly, the other offers a way to travel those distances while being significantly less reliant on fossil fuels (although certainly not entirely independent of them). There are many reasons that argument can be proven inaccurate, but the monthly sales numbers argument isn't one of them.
          Electron
          • 2 Years Ago
          @EChid
          Great comment, but your wasting your breath on a troll here. The only thing that kills trolls is lack of attention.
        Grendal
        • 2 Years Ago
        Oh boo-hoo. A troll (peter nixon/knodoctor/thor petersen) dislikes this exceptional car. He used to cry about how it would never work. That didn't happen. Then he cried about how it wouldn't make money. Tesla is increasing its production ahead of schedule. The Model S has won 3 major awards so far and every review has been spectacular. Owners are saying it's the best car they've ever owned. Everyone loves this car except this crazy troll. He hates it and everything it represents. I think that is a strong endoresement that this is a really great car when a crazy person doesn't like it. Do you think he will be kicked off again before the end of the day?
      Electron
      • 2 Years Ago
      Elon Musk already warned: "I think there’s a tsunami of hurt coming for those holding a short position, and it’s going to be very unpleasant. I advise people to exit while there is time.” ...and now there he drops this bombshell. With production ramping up at a spectacular rate to supply a growing army of reservation holders I think the time that shorting Tesla stock was a good idea has definitely passed.
      paulwesterberg
      • 2 Years Ago
      My bet is that TSLA profits will remain unimpressive for the next year while they increase the number of employees, payback their loans and make other investments to improve production capacity. They wont make much money, but will grow the business - the production line will be streamlined, staff will gain experience and the supply chain will be optimized. This will add value to the business, but will take time to show up on earnings reports. If they are able to satisfy most of the Model S reservation holders and start Model X production they should become profitable. I am not worried about quarterly earnings as much as company growth and making investments that will enable BlueStar production.
        Grendal
        • 2 Years Ago
        @paulwesterberg
        Well said. The last major hurdle is to increase production and prove profitability. You're right that it isn't huge profits. The profits just need to be there to allow for the growth they need to move on to their next cars.
        raktmn
        • 2 Years Ago
        @paulwesterberg
        In the conference call, Tesla was predicting 25% margins will be achieved next year by about mid-year.
      action3500
      • 2 Years Ago
      Tired of reading all the negative comments about the car. Most of people don't even bothering to look at technical aspects of it. Batteries will not overheat in Texas, they are water cooled. This car is not meant to sell 20k units a month, it's niche electrical car that works and is practical. BMW does not sell 20K M5s a year, yet it's an automotive achievement. This is a toy for rich people. If I was rich person in 20k square foot house I would definitely be on the wait list for souped up version of Tesla S. It's something new - it's fast yet practical and you can brag to all your rich friends on how eco-friendly you are. Lexus tried to get into luxury hybrid market, it did not work. Tesla actually works and it has huge backlog. Eventually they will ramp up the production and introduce entry-level 40-50k electric luxury car, since Prius cornered entry-level market.
      Scooter
      • 2 Years Ago
      I really like this cars Aston Martin-esque appearance. Unless your getting the mid level package around $80k, you shouldn't bother with the S. Like every car with a cheaper base model, it needs to be a mid level package for a variety of reasons. Range in the base isn't impressive or practical for long drives, you don't get those 21'' GORGEOUS rims, and you wont get the beautiful pano-roof. You may as well get a souped up Lexus GS350 F if your not prepared to spend $85k+. My number one fear for this car is Tesla it's self. I have to wonder if a Model S is going to turn into a collectible from a defunct company. The battery also may lose a lot of power and charge in Texas heat so thats a cause for concern as well. Point is I love the car, I hope to buy something electric and beautiful like this, I hope more automakers produce more reliable, long term dependable cars like this soon.
        purrpullberra
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Scooter
        You don't know what you are talking about. Options are different from battery pack choices, small battery and pano roof is easy to order. You can't intelligently compare Tesla to ICE cars the way you're trying to. Range is a personal issue, many people don't take long drives ever if at all. Texas weather will not hurt a Tesla battery pack much at all over the life of the car. It is temperature managed, heated or cooled. It should be more reliable than typical ICE cars, too. You can easily get this info on the interwebs, Teslamotors.com is a good place start.
      purrpullberra
      • 2 Years Ago
      Surprisingly this is exactly what Tesla have said they were going to do, they are about 5 weeks behind a schedule that was very ambitious. For a startup car company to produce a car this good on the first/second try in this economic climate is nothing short of astounding. It's why so many losers (sorry) have been driven insane by their success and why bad individuals continually bet against them. I hope Elon is enjoying shoving crow down the necks of all of the naysayers. I absolutely love watching the idiots flail around trying to come up with yet more BS hurdles for Tesla to 'smash' through. (Get it? Thor smash Tesla? No, Tesla smash Thor!!!). :)
        raktmn
        • 2 Years Ago
        @purrpullberra
        You would think that by now ABG would have learned that the multi-banned Thor Peterson troll will show up every time they post a Tesla blog, and be ready to quickly re-ban him under whatever new name he shows up with.
      VIPER94
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm pretty surprised at how big a deal this car is. I have never liked electric cars, I thought them worse than Hybrids. But this, this car is somethin else
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