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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By Danny King