Tesla makes a profit, talks about ride-sharing program
Elon Musk has delivered positive news and detailed Tesla’s future in his last quarterly report as company director.
Highlights of the announcement include Tesla’s first quarterly earnings in over two years, totalling $440 million on the back of increased Model 3 production that Musk describes as “historic”. Since expanding its Californian facilities to place a production line inside a tent, Tesla delivered 56,000 Model 3s over the last quarter.
But the chief executive, who will step down as Tesla chairman following a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for publishing misleading tweets about Tesla's proposed plan to re-privatise the business, says that the company has an even brighter future with a new ride-share service coming, the Model Y SUV confirmed for production and a “next-level” pick-up truck that all make part of “the most exciting product roadmap of any company on Earth.”
Musk has not detailed how the ride-sharing service will work but said it will take on juggernaut Uber and its rival Lyft.
"Tesla will operate its own ride-hailing services and compete directly with Uber and Lyft, obviously,” he said.
Though it is purely speculation that suggests the service will be autonomous, Musk did say the Tesla taxis would first be supported by current owners that “offer their car, add or subtract to the fleet at will,” suggesting that the initial roll-out will require human drivers.
Adding to the news, Musk also confirmed production of the new Model Y SUV that will be similar to the Model 3 in features but shaped like the Model X.
“I recently approved the prototype to go into production,” said Musk.
Finding extra production capacity will be a roadblock until Model 3 deliveries are fulfilled, but the US company has begun construction of a new plant in China to produce both the Model 3 and new Model Y.
Finally, Musk added that the electric pick-up, first talked about earlier this year, is his most exciting project and “I think it’s going to reach the next-level stuff there.”
Tesla’s first financially-positive quarterly earnings report since 2016 will be the last delivered by Musk, who will step down as Chairman but remain chief executive of the company.
Alex Rae is Drive’s Melbourne based reporter with over 10 years’ experience in the automotive industry as a photographer and journalist. Having studied both engineering and the arts, Alex understands what makes things tick while appreciating that sometimes it’s all about form over matter…