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Tesla Loses $50M: Development Costs, Delay on Model X Spur Loss

Image: Tesla Loses $50M: Development Costs, Delay on Model X Spur Loss

By Morgan Chilson   |   Thursday, 08 May 2014 05:13 PM

Tesla Motors Inc. reported a net loss of $49.8 million for the first quarter of 2014 and attributed the loss to higher development costs of its Model X crossover.

Tesla’s quarterly financial report indicated a production of 7,535 Model S sedans, and projected that it would deliver 7500 of the vehicles in the second quarter.

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Revenue grew 10 percent in the first quarter to $620.5 million, the financials said.

“As we grow globally, we are also expanding our vehicle portfolio. Our addressable market will increase with the launch of the right hand drive Model S in the United Kingdom next month, and in Japan and Hong Kong later this summer,” a shareholder letter said. “Model X efforts are on track to ramp up production in the spring of 2015. We have just completed the final studio release of the vehicle. The tooling process has started with several suppliers and we expect production design prototypes to be ready in Q4 of this year.”

The scheduled production date for the Model X is a delay from originally announced plans, and that delay is hurting Tesla, analyst Thilo Koslowski told The Los Angeles Times.

“Right now is a golden opportunity for Tesla to conquer the market, but they need more models,” Koslowski said. “This ideal condition of not having competitors to worry about can’t last forever. Some of the initial Model S sales excitement has cooled off. It is probably a reality check for the company.”

Model S production increased to almost 700 cars per week, the shareholder letter said, up 15 percent from last year.

Tesla expects to be producing 1,000 vehicles every week by the end of this year.

The company said its gigafactory project is “on course to begin battery cell and pack production in 2017,” although a location has not been selected.

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