In the last quarter of 2016, a year to the day before car company Teslas 2.0 began shipping, CEO Elon Musk took the stage at the company’s shareholder meeting to announce they were selling 740 Model Ss a week, or roughly 175 per day.
Tesla has used that figure to justify its business model. The car company, which at the time was running on $1.2 billion in cash, was unable to meet the demand for its Model S sedan. Demand for the smaller Model X sport utility vehicle, on the other hand, was far higher. And because Tesla only sold 128 of those vehicles over the same period, Musk had to drop prices in order to meet demand for the car.
CEO Elon Musk on 10 June 2016
In April 2017, that same SUV finally came to market, and is now again facing increased demand from consumers due to its improved handling and slightly better looks.
Tesla recently revealed its quarterly earnings, for the third quarter of 2017, and they are in great shape.
The automaker reported on Friday a $311 million profit for the quarter, an increase of 14 per cent from the same period the year before. Sales have increased, too: Last quarter, Tesla sold 33,935 vehicles, a 27 per cent increase from the year before. These numbers confirm Musk’s prediction that the company would be profitable this quarter.
Due to the success of the Model 3’s initial run, Tesla claims they will make 40,000 to 50,000 cars in the fourth quarter, the same quarter they first plan to begin selling the electric SUV. Musk boasted on Twitter that the company had sold as many $100,000 Teslas to people who already owned an auto – luxury buyers.
More specific to the quarterly results was the vehicle sales: The firm sold 15,000 cars in Europe, 8,550 cars in Asia Pacific, and 13,135 vehicles in North America.
Tesla also announced plans for a giant new auto factory in Europe and Asia, a plant that would be able to manufacture cars in 3 million square feet and produce 300,000 vehicles per year. A company spokesperson told Business Insider, “One of the things that could happen with this new auto facility is that we could create a hub on the continent. So for example, we have a factory in Arizona and an electric vehicle plant in California. We would love to be able to utilize Europe as a distribution hub.”
Musk isn’t done planning. He recently tweeted plans for a new “vertical take-off and landing” pad to be built on SpaceX’s California base. And Tesla isn’t just a car company: Musk announced earlier this year that the company would be moving towards becoming a fully autonomous car-sharing service.
Musk’s announcement on the quarterly results will lead to a lot of chatter from Tesla investors and analysts. But if sales numbers continue at a significant rate (and they may do so when the company introduces the Model 3 crossovers), it could be the start of a more sustainable Tesla.
Update: Model 3 delivery date cancelled. Tesla will instead start delivering the Model 3 in December with the X and Model Y expected later this year.