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Streamlining and high demand put Tesla in the black

The California-based carmaker recorded a $15m profit for the first quarter, a GAAP profit of $11m, and as well as supplying EV drivetrain parts to Toyota and Mercedes-Benz, production of its own large executive sized Model S is ramping up. This totalled 5,000 units for the three month period, with 400 leaving its factory each week. Tesla said it was counting 4,900 of these in its revenue, exceeding its Q1 guidance of 4,500 units.

During the second quarter, the carmaker is expecting to produce another 5,000 cars of which around 10% will be the first European models. The rate of orders for the long-range electric saloon car is said to be exceeding 20,000 per year globally, and Tesla expects to have delivered 21,000 vehicles during 2013.

Margins are also increasing on each Model S. Manufacturing times are down by 40% compared to December, helped by a stabilised supply chain, while better inventory management had offered a $30m saving in the first quarter as well as reducing expenditure on logistics. Raw materials usage was down by 26%, despite an 80% rise in unit production.

The carmaker said it would continue to streamline its operations, paving the way for a more affordable third-generation electric car which is rumoured to be targeting the compact executive segment. A total of 30 service locations and 15 stores will open worldwide by the end of this year, bringing the totals to 59 and 49 respectively, as Tesla establishes its European network ahead of the Model S sales launch this summer.

Alex Grant

Trained on Cardiff University’s renowned Postgraduate Diploma in Motor Magazine Journalism, Alex is an award-winning motoring journalist with ten years’ experience across B2B and consumer titles. A life-long car enthusiast with a fascination for new technology and future drivetrains, he joined Fleet World in April 2011, contributing across the magazine and website portfolio and editing the EV Fleet World Website.

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