Tesla Records Loss of $49.8 M in First Quarter

By | May 08, 2014
Despite an increase in sales, Tesla posted a net loss of $49.8 million in the first quarter of this year. Tesla's revenue rose to $620 million as Model S production increased 15 percent from the previous quarter. Tesla now builds nearly 700 vehicles a week, and it recently began its first shipments to China. Still, high R&D expenses have begun eroding away at Tesla's profits, and will likely continue to do so through the second quarter. Tesla will begin launching right-hand drive models in the U.K. next month followed by Japan and Hong Kong later in the summer. Adding to expenses, it has also been retooling Model S cars with new titanium underbody shields to improve vehicle safety. The company is also trying to improve safety on falcon-wing doors on the Model X SUV set to begin production in spring 2015. On top of that, Tesla is planning on opening new stores and service centers, as well as installing 200 more Superchargers globally by the end of the year. Tesla also launched a new leasing program last month that may threaten Tesla profits in the short term. Since Tesla doesn't have dealerships to sell its vehicles to, leasing is not recorded as immediate sales. So it could be a while before Tesla starts raking in money from lease vehicles. When accounting for any deferred revenue and related costs for cars sold with a resale value guarantee, Tesla actually posted a $17 million profit. This non-GAAP scale excludes stock-based compensation and non-cash interest expense. According to traditional accounting principles, however, Tesla has not made a real profit since the first quarter of 2013. Source: Tesla