Tesla Claims Profitability: Do We Believe Them?

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

Yes, yes: I’m a Tesla naysayer. Have been right from the start when the media went ape shit for a car that hadn’t been built, repeating performance claims as if they were written on Moses’ stone tablets. (Which were eventually modified.) But I did take them off the “Tesla Birth Watch” when the car deliveries began. And we haven’t posted a “Tesla Death Watch” entry since May 1, 2009. If true, this report from TechCrunch—claiming profitability for the EV maker—indicates that we should cancel the TDW altogether. Cynic that I am, I see some pretty major caveats here. “Silicon Valley’s electric car company, Tesla Motors

, says that it hit profitability in July. The private company reports that it made ‘approximately $1 million of earnings’ on revenues of $20 million, and that it shipped 109 Roadsters, its $109,000 all-electric sports car. The revenues reflect GAAP accounting standards and are only for the month of July.” Given that GM used a predicted (but not realized) Department of Energy (DOE) loan in their financial projections, does Tesla’s half billion dollar-or-so DOE suckle have anything to do with this?

In June, Tesla was also awarded a $465 million loan from the Department of Energy, which will help it manufacture its more reasonably priced Modern S sedan.

The $20 million in revenues and $1 million in profits do not reflect any proceeds from that loan, the company tells us.

And we believe them, right? [thanks to shabatski for the link]

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

More by Robert Farago

Join the conversation
2 of 17 comments
  • Canucknucklehead Canucknucklehead on Aug 10, 2009

    A buddy of mine is a total Tesla freak. He raves about hot it is the way of the future. He doesn't even hear me when I mention that it is a Lotus with the gas motor tossed and a $94,000 price tag. A lot of money for a two seater.

  • TokenGimp TokenGimp on Feb 19, 2010

    AS THE OLD SAYING GOES: "Two wrongs don't make a right, but three lefts will you back on the freeway."

  • EBFlex At the summer property putting boats in the water, leveling boat lifts, cleaning the lots for summer, etc. Typical cabin stuff in the most beautiful place on the planet
  • Lou_BC I've I spent the past few days in what we refer to as "the lower mainland". I see Tesla's everywhere and virtually every other brand of EV. I was in downtown Vancouver along side a Rivian R1T. A Rivian R1S came off as side street and was following it. I saw one other R1S. 18% of new vehicles in BC are EV'S. It tends to match what I saw out my windshield. I only saw 2 fullsized pickups. One was a cool '91 3/4 ton regular cab. I ran across 2 Tacoma's. Not many Jeeps. There were plenty of Porches, Mercedes, and BMW's. I saw 2 Aston Martin DBX707's. It's been fun car watching other than the stress of driving in big city urban traffic. I'd rather dodge 146,000 pound 9 axle logging trucks on one lane roads.
  • IBx1 Never got the appeal of these; it looks like there was a Soviet mandate to create a car with two doors and a roof that could be configured in different ways.
  • CAMeyer Considering how many voters will be voting for Trump because they remember that gas prices were low in 2020–never mind the pandemic—this seems like a wise move.
  • The Oracle Been out on the boat on Lake James (NC) and cooking up some hella good food here with friends at the lake place.