Tesla losses widen and launch of new Model X SUV nears
Tesla Motors has reported a large first-quarter net loss just two months away from first deliveries of its highly-anticipated all-electric Model X SUV. The high-end electric car brand's losses have tripled to $154 million in the first quarter compared with the previous year loss of $45 million.
Tesla delivered 11,532 cars to customers during the first quarter of 2015, and between 10,000 and 11,000 vehicles are expected to be delivered in the second quarter. The company is still expecting to hit its target goal of selling 55,000 vehicles this year. The Model X will play a significant role in reaching that goal.
Once production starts, Tesla plans to quickly ramp up Model X production to deliver about 1,000 vehicles a week by late 2015. In a statement by Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, deliveries of the electric SUV would start toward the end of the third quarter. “It’s going to be quite a challenging production ramp,” Musk said on a recent conference call. “We want to iron everything out, and then deliver at high volume.”
Musk also stated that the smaller and more affordable Model 3 would be ready for a public unveiling in the first quarter of 2016. The first set of deliveries of the Model 3 will begin in 2017.
In a letter to shareholders, Tesla CFO Deepak Ahuja wrote Tesla may not be out of the red until early 2016. The company previously estimated an increase in cash flow by the end of 2015.