Last month Tesla Motors (Nasdaq:TSLA) revealed the beta version of its Model S at its Fremont factory. Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently said that the firm has "sold out" the Model S sedans for 2012 with 6,500 reservations. Musk also said he expected to earn a profit in 2013.

Today, the pioneering electric vehicle firm announced its third-quarter earnings after the market closed.

  • Total revenues in the third quarter were $58 million, up 85 percent from Q3 of last year.
  • Sales grew by almost 11 percent from last quarter due to Roadster demand and powertrain sales.
  • Total gross margin was 30 percent.
  • The firm reported a net loss of $65.1 million.
  • Full-year revenue guidance was raised to between $195 million and $200 million.
  • "The rate of Model S reservations appears to be accelerating," according to Musk. He notes that this is occurring without advertising.

According to the firm, "The highlight of the quarter was our Model S Beta reveal." The press release states, "The Model S development program remains on schedule for the first customer deliveries of the Model S no later than July 2012."

Here are some other comments from the statement:

  • "Net losses will obviously continue until we reach volume sales of the Model S in 2013."

And this curious comment:

  • "We are excited about the many bargains available for used tooling and equipment, some of which are located quite near to our Fremont factory. We believe in purchasing used tooling and equipment for pennies on the dollar and buying low-cost desks from IKEA, rather than spending large sums of money on architectural and interior design."

What used tooling and equipment could Tesla possibly find near its Fremont factory?


Tesla's future rests on its ability to build and sell the Model S in volume at a profit.

Tesla has received more than 6,000 reservations for the Model S, a four-door, sportback sedan with room for five adults. The car does 0 to 60 in less than 6 seconds and can charge from any conventional 120-volt or 240-volt outlet. The vehicle comes with three range options: 160 miles, 230 miles and 300 miles.

According to the firm's website, in the U.S., the Model S starts at $57,400, or $49,900 after the U.S. federal tax credit. The 230-mile Model S starts at about $10,000 more and the 300-mile Model S starts at about $20,000 more than the base price.

Model S sedans will start being delivered to customers in mid-2012 with a target production of 5,000 units in 2012 and 20,000 vehicles per year after that.

Tesla was the first American car maker to go public since Ford in 1956. It currently has a market cap of $3 billion.



Photo courtesy of Tesla