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A now profitable Tesla motors hopes that a $49,900 Model S sedan will send its profit soaring to even greater heights.

The company is also launching the Roadster Sport model in 2011.  (Source: Tesla Motors)
After years of losses, the company's persistence is finally paying off

Luxury electric car maker Tesla Motors appears to be firing on all cylinders.  Despite a painful couple of years that saw the company cutting back to survive the recession, the company emerged stronger than ever.  Thanks to a new partnership with Daimler, additional engineering, distribution, and marketing resources were gained.  And most importantly, Tesla finally began to deliver vehicles.

Now the company can celebrate an important milestone -- its first profit.  After many months in the red, July saw the company in the black, making $1M USD in profit on $20M USD in revenue.  The profits came thanks to a record 109 cars shipped in the month.  Manufacturing cost cuts also helped to enable the profit.

Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk comments, "There is strong demand for a car that is unique in offering high performance with a clean conscience.  Customers know that in buying the Roadster they are helping fund development of our mass market electric cars."

Tesla, like many R&D driven greentech firms, offered a target date for profitability.  However, it appears that Tesla is one of the few to actually deliver on such a date -- having projected a profit in "mid-2009".

The Tesla Roadster undeniably features the most attractive production electric vehicle body design to date.  They also offer fittingly sporty performance and a utilitarian 244-mile range.  In other words, while expensive, the Roadsters do deliver a strong experience.  Currently, the Roadsters retail for a base price of $109,000.

Tesla has borrowed $465M USD from the U.S. Department of Energy, to produce a luxury sedan reachable by more customers at a price point of $49,900.  This new model will be called the Model S.

The company is also working with Daimler to create electric versions of the popular Smart car.  Late this year, the company will deploy a fleet of the 1,000 of the electrified ultra-compact vehicles.  Tesla is also set to deploy a higher-performance version of the Roadster -- the Roadster Sport -- in 2011.

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funny numbers
By etekberg on 8/10/2009 10:50:56 AM , Rating: 1
I stand behind my prediction that this company is a long term loser without Gov. subsidies or a massive change in technology.

$20M revenue; 109 cars sold = $183k per car. Something doesn't add up.

RE: funny numbers
By Murst on 8/10/2009 11:08:25 AM , Rating: 4
$20M revenue; 109 cars sold = $183k per car. Something doesn't add up.

109 cars were shipped. The article doesn't say how many cars were actually sold.

Also, Tesla most likely has other sources of revenue. The article is pretty clear that they have a partnership w/ Daimler. It wouldn't be surprising if some revenue came from that ( as consulting costs, licensing, etc ).

RE: funny numbers
By KingstonU on 8/10/2009 11:35:52 AM , Rating: 2
They shipped 109 cars in the previous month that contributed to their report, but their Quarterly report, should include the previous ~3 months of business.

RE: funny numbers
By erple2 on 8/10/2009 11:59:05 AM , Rating: 2
Also, to be considered for buying the car, you have to plunk down a certain amount of money as a "down payment" or "deposit". I seem to remember something on the order of 10 to 20k. So they may have taken orders to make up the gap.

Assuming that the deposit amount is 10k, and assuming that the deposit reduces the final price (so the payer pays 99k rather than 109k - they've already paid 10k of it), that means that they made 99k per car (99 *109) = 10,791 million. That means that they needed, assuming 10k deposit, orders for another 920 or 921 additional cars. Which I think is probably reasonable.

RE: funny numbers
By noirsoft on 8/10/2009 11:55:37 AM , Rating: 3
They sell Tesla T-shirts, too, which clearly account for the rest of their revenue. :D

RE: funny numbers
By 67STANG on 8/10/2009 12:55:20 PM , Rating: 2
They've only shipped a few of those though.

RE: funny numbers
By Mitch101 on 8/10/2009 1:28:56 PM , Rating: 2
They were recalled for loose stitches around the collar.

RE: funny numbers
By Keeir on 8/10/2009 3:16:22 PM , Rating: 2
109 cars were shipped. The article doesn't say how many cars were actually sold.

Most accounting systems would only allow them to count the revenue from products delievered within the month.

Autobloggreen has a similar article, which raises the similar points that the partnershup w/Daimler likely added significantly to the bottom line. Unfortunetely that extra boost is unlikely to continue and Tesla will be back to struggling to make a profit each month. However, I will say its very encouraging that such a small difference is all it takes. (Considering they are expanding, performing significant research and development per size of company etc)

RE: funny numbers
By Skott on 8/10/2009 2:05:26 PM , Rating: 2
If I remember correctly they were to make 500 of the first models and then move onto the making the next model and then after that make another model. Each new generation/model getting cheaper. I wish them a lot of success. Its nice to see new and fresh ideas and innovation coming to the car market.

RE: funny numbers
By Spuke on 8/10/2009 3:45:01 PM , Rating: 1
Its nice to see new and fresh ideas and innovation coming to the car market.
I'd rather have a twin turbo Gallardo.

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