Tesla Model S

Electric vehicle maker Tesla expects to be profitable in the first quarter of 2013, despite the widening of its losses in the fourth quarter of 2012. To do this, the company says it’s working to reduce manufacturing costs, and a backlog of Model S orders.

With fourth quarter revenue of $306.3 million, Tesla has increased its earnings from the same quarter in the previous year, with the help of increased Model S deliveries. 2,400 Model S deliveries were made in the fourth quarter, much more than the 250 deliveries of the prior three quarters combined. With 400 Model S vehicles being made per week, the company is poised to deliver more than 20,000 units this year, with this quarter’s focus on a more efficient manufacturing and supply chain operation.

Tesla received a net loss of $89.9 million, thanks to higher costs of manufacturing and supply chain insufficiencies, but despite the loss, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla said he is cautiously optimistic that the company will generate a net income in the second quarter. “We really have a very high confidence that we will have a profitable first quarter, and this is the very first quarter that we have been at our target production rate. I think that’s a pretty big deal.”

Tesla reported a loss of $396.2 million for the full year, and stock shares fell 1.9 percent to $38.54 at the close in New York on Wednesday. However, shares have risen 14 percent this year. Tesla plans to begin leasing in the United States in the second half of the year.

Source: Automotive News

By Megan Stewart