Tesla: faster to Mars than to profitability?
Electric car maker Tesla had to swallow the biggest quarterly loss so far: 675,4 million dollar, compared to 121 million the same period in 2016. Some critics say Tesla might reach Mars faster than profitability… But Elon Musk’s stunts and his optimism keep the company upright.
On Tuesday SpaceX successfully launched its Falcon Heavy rocket and delivered Musk’s personal Tesla Roadster to space with ‘Starman’ at the wheel, heading for Mars. It turns out Starman ‘pushed the throttle’ somewhat too hard as the Roadster is to overshoot Mars onto the asteroid zone. The ‘closest’ to Mars it will get is 6,9 million km by October 2020.
850 million dollar from pre-orders
Down to earth Musk is plagued for months by production problems to deliver the Tesla Model 3 as promised to more than 450.000 clients (63.000 cancelled) that had pre-ordered their car by August 2017. In total Tesla raked in some 850 million dollar from pre-orders for the Model 3, the Semi-trucks and the new Roadster.
At the presentation of the quarterly results Musk remained rather vague about the production plans for the Model 3. In October, November and December of last years only 1.550 units were actually built.
2.500 cars per week
Musk expects to reach a volume of 2.500 cars per week at the end of the first quarter and double of this at the end of the second quarter. Finally production has to reach full speed at 10.000 cars per week, but the CEO doesn’t give any time frame for this. “Previous experiences have shown how difficult it is to predict production capacity accurately”, Musk commented.
Meanwhile Tesla is burning money like SpaceX’s rocket burns fuel with net losses tripling last quarter. But Musk could prevent the company having to go searching for new money, which analysts consider to be a great success already.
Every time consumers and investors start to doubt, Musk comes up with yet another stunt to keep his ‘audience’ in the spell of his vision. “If we can launch a Roadster into the asteroid zone, we will also be able to solve the problems with the Model 3”, Musk argues.