Tesla reports $408 million net loss, top executive to leave

27 Juillet, 2019, 00:07 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Tesla reveals quarterly record production and deliveries in Q2 2019

Tesla Motors has been selling more cars than ever before, but record sales haven't been enough to generate consistent profits. Straubel had overseen technical and engineering projects for Tesla as CTO since 2005, and played a key role in developing Tesla's battery technology.

Despite fears recently that the Californian company may miss its targets, it seems Tesla has overcome its global logistics and delivery challenges to register exponential growth and record production and delivery numbers.

Tesla reported a loss per share of $1.12, compared to a consensus estimate of only 40 cents cited by CNBC. It also generated $614 million in cash, helping fatten its bank account to $5 billion through June.

Tesla says that all the equipment in the factory in Fremont, California, has been tested at a run rate of 7,000 Model 3s a week. "This will be a simplified, more cost-effective version of our Model 3 line with capacity of 150,000 units per year - the second generation of the Model 3 production process", said the company. This model remained the bestselling premium vehicle in the United States, according to the automaker, and it "gained traction" in worldwide markets. Demand was driven by the lower-margin Model 3, which ramped up in the US and started sales in China and Europe. He said Tesla is counting on selling more lower-priced Model 3s to make money, but posited that the vehicle "may be structurally unprofitable".

In Q2, Model 3 deliveries reached an all-time record of 77,634.

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Then, for the second time already this year, Musk dropped a bombshell about a senior executive role change on a Tesla earnings call. "Drew and I have worked closely together for many years and I have total confidence in Drew".

In light of this, Tesla adjusted its sales trajectory for 2019 upwards, from 360,000 to 400,000 units.

Still, profitability has proven elusive for Elon Musk's company, and Wall Street is noticing. He reports that profits for Q2 were "around break-even", claiming that these will be profitable next quarter. "I think any kind of core thesis about how this company has a sustainable path forward is pretty challenged now".

In the live webcast, Tesla's chief technology officer, JB Straubel also announced that he is stepping down after years with the company in what appeared to be a very warm atmosphere. The company says it is "on track" to hit these goals. Musk said that if he hadn't had lunch with Straubel in 2003 "the company wouldn't exist, basically". Given the pressure to perform through this year, it may be some time before that comes up again. Gigafactory Shanghai continues to take shape, and in Q2, Tesla started to move machinery into the facility for the first phase of production there. Tesla is targeting production of over 500,000 vehicles in the next 12 months. Sure there are. But the negative headlines and the falling stock price are failing to recognize some really good news as well. (That was Tesla's goal for the Models S and X, although in the end those two EVs shared far fewer components than Tesla hoped.) The plan is still to launch the Model Y by the fall of 2020. The company expects that the model's success will also be due to a large market size for SUVs.

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