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Tesla is racing to release its Model S by 2012. As a result it posted another big loss this quarter, burning through a fair chunk of its cash at hand.

Tesla will also deliver an electric version of the Toyota RAV4 crossover in 2012.  (Source: New and Fastest)
Tesla has already lost more this year than it had all of last year

The good news for Tesla Motors is that the company has plenty of cash on hand thanks to government grants and an incredibly successful initial public offering that raised $226M USD.  The bad news is that the company is burning through cash fast as it attempts to develop new vehicles and expand its distribution network.

Reporting financials for the first time as a publicly traded company, Tesla just announced a loss of $38.5M USD for its second fiscal quarter, 2010.  Year-to-year it reports its revenue rose 5 percent, to $28.4M USD.  A year ago the company only lost $10.8M USD, though.

Tesla is looking to begin producing and selling its upcoming Model S mass market luxury sedan in 2012, priced at $57,400 USD.  The car will retain some luxury trappings and have a range of 160 miles.  Tesla will produce the new model at the the former NUMMI factory, located in Fremont, California, which it obtained from Toyota as part of a joint development deal.  The factory had been scheduled close after former co-operator GM pulled out, in the wake of its bankruptcy.

Tesla also has a hand in the development of an electric version of Toyota's RAV4 crossover SUV which will also hit the market in 2012.  Toyota gave Tesla a relatively meager $50M USD to help develop the plug-in, but also gave it access to the NUMMI plant and other perks.  Tesla also recently revealed that it is developing 3 other vehicles internally -- another crossover/SUV, a Cabriolet, and an electric van.

Tesla also has been opening new stores in recent months.  Last month it shipped its first Roadsters to Canada and Japan.

For Tesla, its current financial predicament basically boils down to weathering the storm, which is never an easy position for a company.  If the company can stay afloat through 2012 and make its deadlines for the Model S and Toyota RAV4 vehicles, it will be poised well to return to its short-lived profitability of 2009.

In total Tesla has already lost more this year ($68M USD) than it did 
all of last year ($55.7M USD).  One promising sign, though, was that Tesla significantly improved its gross margin to 22 percent, up from 8 percent from a year before.  Gross margin is a measure of profitability that weighs production costs versus sales costs.

While still above the $17 IPO price, shares of Tesla (TSLA) have plummeted from a high of $22 earlier this week to $19.80 following the financial report.

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RE: Wait...
By shin0bi272 on 8/6/2010 2:42:19 PM , Rating: -1
Your assumption that EVs will sell well is the downfall of your argument. With the chevy volt going a whopping 40 miles between charges and the nissan leaf going 100 miles (better but not quite good enough) you're looking at a production car that has less power, torque, and range, and takes longer to "refuel" than even a geo metro. Who is going to buy these vehicles other than rampant environmentalists or those who are mandated by the government?

RE: Wait...
By MozeeToby on 8/6/2010 3:32:05 PM , Rating: 4
The whole freaking point of the Volt is that it isn't limited to the batteries range, at all. You can take it on a cross country road trip just like a normal car and never stop to recharge once, all the while getting 50+ mpg.

Your comments on power and torque are more accurate, but only to a certain point. If you take into account the fact that electric motors have a nearly flat powerband a 100 hp motor will easily outperform a 150 hp motor.

RE: Wait...
By Pirks on 8/6/2010 3:49:25 PM , Rating: 2
chevy volt going a whopping 40 miles between charges
Tesla S does 160 miles, so get real please.

RE: Wait...
By Spuke on 8/6/2010 4:03:48 PM , Rating: 2
Tesla S does 160 miles, so get real please.
160, 230 or 300. Depends on which battery pack you buy. Besides, the Tesla Model S is $57,400. WAY more expensive than the Volt or Leaf and should have better EV range than either of those for that price.

RE: Wait...
By Iaiken on 8/6/2010 4:17:08 PM , Rating: 2
WAY more expensive than the Volt

Not really, remember that little gem about dealers wanting to sell the Volt for $61,000?

RE: Wait...
By Cheesew1z69 on 8/6/2010 4:20:14 PM , Rating: 2
That is also a MARKUP, the MSRP is still higher on the Tesla....

RE: Wait...
By Iaiken on 8/6/2010 4:52:11 PM , Rating: 2
And who's to say that Tesla doesn't put pressure on the dealer network to keep markups down until they can bring production costs down? Thus retail can stay the same and markups can go up. :P

RE: Wait...
By Spuke on 8/6/2010 7:25:42 PM , Rating: 2
And who's to say that Tesla doesn't put pressure on the dealer network to keep markups down until they can bring production costs down?
I don't think the price will change much but you bring up a point. The car ain't out yet and Tesla is kind of shooting themselves in the foot by announcing a price so soon. I'd hold off on that.

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