Tesla Reports Its Worst Ever Quarterly Loss After Model 3 Delays

Tesla has posted its worst-ever quarterly loss, confirming that it lost $675 million in Q4 2017, largely due to Model 3 delays.

In 2017 alone, Tesla lost almost $2 billion, despite reporting a revenue of roughly $12 billion. As Ars Technica notes, the electric automaker continues to spend more money than it makes.

Although the Model 3 premiered in the middle of 2017 as planned, Tesla failed to meet its original production targets for the entry-level electric sedan. In the quarter after the car’s global premiere, just 266 units were delivered to customers. In the fourth quarter, only 1550 examples were delivered. By the end of Q1 2018, Tesla anticipates it will be churning out 2500 Model 3s per week and 5000 per week by the end of Q2 2018.

In a letter issued to investors, Tesla suggested that even these projections may not be achieved.

“It is important to note that, while these are the levels we are focused on hitting and we have plans in place to achieve them, our prior experience on the Model 3 ramp has demonstrated the difficulty of accurately forecasting specific production rates at specific points in time.”

Despite its sustained financial losses, the automaker sees light at the end of the tunnel. Speaking on an earnings call, Elon Musk said he expects Tesla to be profitable by the stringent Generally Accepted Accounting Principles this year.

  • Tumbi Mtika

    Looks like Tesla’s getting shot from space.

    • Honda NSX-R

      I knew there’d be some sort of comment about Tesla relating to the picture in the article…LOL

    • LWOAP

      Their orbit decayed and now Earth’s gravity is pulling them back down.

      • S3XY

        SpaceX will launch them back up. Don’t Panic!

  • Six_Tymes

    He sure isn’t another Henry Ford.

    • S3XY

      You’re right. He’s Elon Musk.

  • Other Interests are Better

    I’m a bit surprised that Elon has held onto Tesla automotive as long as he has. He’s more of a sell it and move on type of guy. Space X and solar are yielding better results for him and now his boring company is capturing his interest. Again, surprised he’s not sold off Tesla automotive.

    • S3XY

      “Elon’s more of a sell it and move on type of guy.”” Elon put all his money in to save Tesla and SpaceX. You don’t know what you’re talking about

  • LWOAP

    Well, jeesh, Tesla lost almost as much money as GM. This isn’t a good look for the company. Tesla really needs to get its act together; meet its own production milestones; stop spending more than they earn, and Elon needs to come back down to Earth.

    • S3XY

      You’re so right!

      • LWOAP

        Oh, come on. We all know Elon sent his brain up there along with his Tesla. 😛

  • jsz00

    Elon is actually one of the reasons why America is in so much debt

    • S3XY

      So true!

  • S3XY

    Ya the black Model 3’s have huge panel gaps. They are super visible, especially on the black paint which you’d think you couldn’t see since its black. In broad nighttime is when they’re most visible.

  • europeon

    Six @disqus_q9uEBGT1bm:disqus comments so far in this thread, and not a single self-upvote.
    What is happening? I am so confused…

    • LWOAP

      All his upvotes are currently heading towards the asteroid belt along with Elon’s Roadster Sport. They would have went to Mars but they overshot their intended target. It’s cool, though. The chances of it hitting something is very slim.

      Now where did I leave that shooting stars meme?

  • UGH! Another Tesla Story

  • This is what happened when you just can’t really hold yourself from all your cult fans, like slow down on your announcement and features, it affects their stocks badly and despite all the hype, I still hope Tesla to exists.

    • brn

      I generally agree. I’m impressed with what Elon has managed to accomplish. I hope he’s able to keep it up. His biggest failing is managing expectations, something more people / organizations need to get better at.

      • Yep, and it doesn’t help when part of population thinks that you are a demigod who can’t do wrong.

  • IF THIS WERE AN INVESTMENT SITE I COULD SAY I GIVE A DAM BUT IT’S NOT AND I DON’T. LET THEM LEAD THE WAY AND CHANGE THE WORLD.

  • S3XY

    Actually, contrary to being a “CEO”, Elon is an engineer himself. He can explain every single component of the rocket in vast detail. On top of that, he has the vision and drive which he conveys to his team of super smart people such as himself, that all work extremely hard to bring it all to reality.

    And they do. Employees at SpaceX get free frozen yogurts and nifty bikes to ride. Also rocket ship trash bins to dispose of their SpaceX printed cups and containers. And they have X Security that get to drive Model S’s outside around the factory.

  • Educate yourself about the history of SpaceX and what Elon did and does for the company.

    • ChrisSnyder60

      I read a bit… think he said he knew nothing about rockets but had to learn – which I suppose he did in addition to hiring good people. Now he just needs to learn how to mass produce cars or hire people who can do it.

      • He was a genius child, he read sci-fi and scientific space travel books by the dozens. When he finally sold Paypal he used the money to fund his dreams and visions. That’s the massive difference between your average billionaire who seeks to have the most profit, and him, who is chasing his childhood dreams. On top of that he is an engineer and when he talks with the professionals at SpaceX he very well understands the problems and can make the right decision. See, that’s the result why rockets are landing now, which was a topic of insanity just 10 years ago.

        • ChrisSnyder60

          Thank you – I knew nothing about his history, or even that he started/sold paypal. He’s definitely a visionary, but I hope he can get the car business going. I was reading how he’ll be competing with GM and others for the EV market. I sense he has a loyal following (like Apple, though on a much smaller scale), but that’s not going to support Tesla forever. But he’s already made a mark and now going off into other areas where he can do the same. I may be off, but he sounds like a modern day Thomas Edison. I’ll have to read more about him. thanks again..

          • There is a good book by Ashlee Vance about Elon Musk. You don’t need to be a fan of any kind to read it, his story and his companies are very interesting. About the Apple analogy – I think Tesla is on the way to become the new Apple, while Apple is losing from it’s hype, and needs heavy reinventing to stay cool and have hardcore fans. I would not be worried about the production of Teslas. In the end they will solve it, they try to automatize and robotize everything, which eventually will be an advantage over the competitors. Don’t forget that they produce a much more complicated car, the Model X. Built quality may not be good compared to others, but technologically they are years ahead, and that’s what matters in the digital age.

  • fabri99

    Their only hope is that the Tesla Roadster comes back from space with a bag full Model 3s.

    • ChrisSnyder60

      More space junk…

  • ChrisSnyder60

    Good ideas but no clue about production.

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