Tesla is on fire, both literally and figuratively.
Nearly two years after the class-defining Model S sedan hit showrooms, Tesla has narrowed its losses tremendously, while continuing to see sales skyrocket. Tesla stated on Wednesday that it lost $16.3 million in the fourth quarter; as dismal as this seems, it compares favorable to losses of $89.9 million for the same quarter last year. But are you ready for the really good news? Tesla expects to deliver over 35,000 Model S sedans in 2014, a 55% increase over 2013. This potential surge in sales is attributed to international expansion into Europe and Asia, including the first right-hand-drive vehicles set to enter markets including Australia, Britain, Hong Kong, and Japan.
With plans to introduce a Model X electric crossover utility vehicle, as well as a possible sub-$40,000 Model E compact sedan, Tesla is in a position to grow considerably as an automaker.
So, with a healthy stock price (it closed yesterday at $193.64 per share, up 10% in after hours trading), every expanding sales figures, and a diverse vehicle lineup on the horizon, where’s the downside? Well, let’s get back to that fire stuff for just a moment…
After several fires have broken out in Tesla’s batteries, and the safety of its wall chargers were questioned (in January, Tesla recalled roughly 29,000 chargers after the adapter, cord, or wall outlet caught fire in a California garage), concerns over fires and reliability have cast a slight pall over an otherwise thriving company. However, in response, Tesla has raised the ground clearance of the Model S, updated the car’s software, and extended the vehicle warranty to cover fire damage. Let’s hope that these setbacks are nothing more than the quirks every new car company must go through. It’s an exciting time for EVs and Tesla seems to have the right formula and outlook to go the distance.