The latest financial statements from Californian automaker Tesla reveal that the company is losing AU$5400 for every vehicle sold.
Tesla’s operating loss at the end of the second-quarter reporting period was AU$484.7 million. Tesla’s results should alarm no-one however, and reflect the heavy investment in new product development of this technologically-advanced specialist EV company.
None-the-less, it sit at odds with a strong global luxury vehicle market. Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO has indicated that he is examining ways to raise more capital, and wouldn’t rule out selling more stock.
Although currently only offering the low-volume Model S for sale, the range is due to be expended early in 2016 with the introduction of the Model X SUV.
Once the full range is available, Tesla is targeting sales of around 500,000 vehicles per year by 2020. Forecasts for this year are 50,000 to 55,000 sales.
Tesla’s current cash reserves are sitting at AU$1.55 billion, compared to a more robust AU$3.6 billion at the end of the 2013-2014 financial year.
Next year Tesla forecasts that, after the introduction of the Model X, capital spending will drop.
With no other vehicle launches for the year and the resulting increase in sales volume, Elon Musk expects to accrue AU$1.35 billion in cash over the next 12 months.
Industry analysts aren’t as positive about Tesla’s revenue potential, however. Financial services firm Barclays points to development costs for the coming Model 3 and increased battery factory costs as overheads that may limit financial performance.
In 2012 the company faced financial hardship, but at that time Musk was able to raise capital by selling shares and renegotiating the terms of an existing loan from the US Government. A similar share offer cannot be ruled out.
Currently Tesla stock is performing around 70% higher than for the same time two years earlier. Reuters reports Tesla’s market capitalisation sits at around US$31 billion, placing it ahead of the much larger Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.