By on February 11, 2015


Tesla’s Q4 2014 didn’t go so well despite strong demand for its Model S, losing $108 million in earnings over the quarter.

The Wall Street Journal reports the automaker has 10,000 booked orders for the premium EV sedan, as well as 20,000 for the Model X crossover now expected to hit the showrooms in Q3 2015. However, the loss is attributed to both a lag between production and fulfillment of the Model S P85D, and a strong dollar.

Sales in Q4 2014 fared better than in Q4 2013, with 9,834 units sold over 6,892. The sales figure also bests Q3 2014’s results, when 7,785 vehicles left the showroom. Overall deliveries for the outgoing fiscal year amounted to 32,733 — short of the 33,000 Tesla hoped to move that year — with 55,000 global sales projected for the upcoming year.

Q4 2014 revenue jumped to $956.6 million over the previous year’s $615 million, while operating expenses almost doubled over the same period, hitting $336.5 million. Capital spending for the upcoming year is expected to hit $1.5 billion, divided between Gigafactory investments, production increases, readying the Model X for production, and sales and service. Cash supply dropped from $2.4 billion in Q3 2014 to $1.9 billion in Q4.

As for the stock price, Tesla shares closed at $212.80 Wednesday, having recovered from CEO Elon Musk’s comments in January about Chinese sales and when his company would become profitable; the stock price then fell to $177.22. That said, it’s still lower than the peak of $291.42 achieved last September.

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28 Comments on “Tesla’s Q4 2014 Sees $108M Loss Despite Strong Demand For S, X...”

  • avatar

    Down 1.61% today.

    And people wonder why I’m so angry.

    I knew that sooner or later the lack of variety was gonna bite TESLA in theass.

    #1 They only have the Model -S right now.

    #2 The Model S is too expensive for your average cash-poor American

    #3 The Model X is too-far down the road and it’s gonna cost so much that only “richers” will be able to afford it.

    #4 The Model 3 is probably going to end up starting around $60,000 – placing it well above the average buyer’s threshold.

    I refuse to drop below $200’share. I’ll sell it all and I’ll make the angriest viral video ever made in the history of man about Elon Musk…

    That’s a promise.

  • avatar

    In my humble opinion…this car is and always has been a niche player.
    It is directed at folks with big bucks and want to feel special and say they feel for the environment.
    This by definition is a small group…and made ever so much smaller by soooo many awesome cars from 80K and up fully loaded is prestige power and history.
    It will reach its max consumer soon.
    The only real numbers are those who are waiting on the X. And these have been waiting a long time and not sure how many want BOTH S and X.

    And I am in the majority that feel this entire experiment would never have gotten this far without major gov support.
    If cannot find financial success with this small number of customers…it will eventually fail.

    I think it gets eaten by another auto maker eventually and kept alive as a small side Eco/Electric brand with limited, but more, customers like Rolls Royce, Maybach.

    The driving distance will always be its ball n chain. However..if this gets solved..all bets are off for any electric.

    • 0 avatar

      “And I am in the majority that feel this entire experiment would never have gotten this far without major gov support.”

      and you probably think it’s totally unfair since GM, Chrysler, and Teslas other competitors have never taken a single cent of government assistance.

      • 0 avatar

        it is extremely important not to make presumptions…especially IF the only reason you are doing so is to taunt.
        You are speaking to somebody who is still taking calming little blue meds as a result of our governments handouts to not only the auto industry, but the financial thieves.

    • 0 avatar

      @TrailerTrash: However..if this gets solved..all bets are off for any electric.

      Sure, and if I win the Powerball all MY problems will be solved. The odds of either happening are unfortunately about the same.

  • avatar

    Wow!!! 23,733 vehicles sold this year. At this price point, I think Tesla is close to matching U.S. sales of the S Class, the 7 Series, the XJ and the A8 combined. Tesla has left a big hole in the sales projections of the other high end autos.

    • 0 avatar

      The trouble is, the Model S does not only compete with those cars. It also competes in its lesser cheaper trims with the 5-Series, E-Class, A6, etc. Suddenly those sales numbers look a whole lot less impressive. The German fat-cat luxury barges are losing more sales to luxury SUVs in the US than they are to Tesla. It does offer something unique in the market, so they certainly deserve their success, but I would hardly call it amazing.

    • 0 avatar

      And they only lost $11K per vehicle to do it. What a triumph!

    • 0 avatar

      The difference is that Mercedes, BMW, Jaguar and Audi have the revenue from the A,C & E Class, the 2,3,4,5,& 6 Series, the XK and XK, and the A3, A4, A5, A6 and A7 (along with all of the CUV/SUV’s)to add to their bottom line unlike Tesla who is dependent upon one model for all of their income.

      The car business is a hugely capital intensive business with relatively low margins, cyclical sales cycles and not a lot of room for error. It rewards low cost, high volume producers and turns high cost, low volume companies into museum exhibits. Luxury features quickly get pushed down to volume models which forces luxury car makers to constantly innovate new features to justify their high prices or else die because their cost structure can’t compete with more efficient companies.

  • avatar

    It’s an awesome car, especially for a first attempt, however, due to the financials, it’s a terrible company. I suspect it will one day be remembered as “the company that started the electric car revolution” (even though nissan should probably get that credit). I’m always looking for an entry to short TSLA!

    • 0 avatar
      dash riprock

      You may get your chance, Credit Suisse has named Tesla as its #1 pick for 2015. Gov’t mandates and incentives may also help to keep the stock inflated.

      I am with you though, think it is a value trap as a investment. Companies do have to have a ROE eventually.

    • 0 avatar

      Tesla in no way started the electric car revolution: Detroit Electric was selling electric cars 100 years ago (Henry Ford’s wife drove one). Tesla did not start the electric car revolution, it is just the latest foot soldier in the auto wars. Whether it is cannon fodder or victorious remains to be seen.

  • avatar

    If you have enough liquidity, short it now.

  • avatar

    What the headline doesn’t explain (and the text actually does…) is that Tesla lost money by expanding capacity, not by losing money on vehicles sold. Also with nearly 2 billion still in the bank and this gigafactory in the works Tesla as a corporation is actually in good shape. If the car brand fails (which at this point is highly unlikely, it would be swallowed as a valuable subsidiary if anything) the remaining assets will more than off-set everything.

    Now go back to your ‘I ain’t drivin’ no EEE-Vee’ talk and excitedly declaring this a fool’s game.

    • 0 avatar

      “What the headline doesn’t explain (and the text actually does…) is that Tesla lost money by expanding capacity, not by losing money on vehicles sold.”

      Plant and equipment purchases add to assets. They are booked on the balance sheet. They do not impact profit and loss.

      Profit (and loss) is the net of revenue, minus expenses. Not every dollar that comes in the door is revenue, and not every dollar spent is an expense. (And there are expenses that are booked but that aren’t cash items.)

      Parts, labor, R&D, and overhead are included in the P&L calculation. Capital expenditures aren’t.

  • avatar

    The thing is premium cars makers like Mercedes are watching Tesla with interest. As soon at they determine that electric cars will sell in big enough volumes they will start making their own electric cars. BMW already do and JLR are said to be working on a stand alone all electric Range Rover model.

    When the big boys jump on board they will invest in new technologies e.g BMW and Carbon Fibre pressings. This week I read about a luxury Electric car which ran on some form of fuel rather than battery. Meaning it had a 900 mile range and could be filled up from a pump. All that money Tesla is putting into battery making will help them shot term but we are possibly only a few years away from more advance tech turning up which will make that investment obsolete! Then I suspect it’s curtains for Tesla or GM will buy it ;-)

  • avatar

    Maybe the “Gigafactory” is already being built to be adaptable to the next-generation of Tesla batteries – heck, maybe Elon already has the next gen batteries in the works. Tesla would hurt their own sales if they revealed that the G-Factory was going to produce better battery tech than the present models.

  • avatar

    Soccer moms in Englewood Cliffs seem to drive em like normal cars… Oh wait it is a normal car. Time to buy.

  • avatar

    There’s usually a strong demand for S,X, unless you’re married.

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