Tesla Motors loss widens despite putting pedal to the floor to ramp up production

Francesca Washtell
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Chief exec Elon Musk said the company would still deliver 50,000 new cars in the second half of 2016 (Source: Getty)

Elon Musk’s electric car giant Tesla Motors reported lower-than-expected second quarter results, driven by a dip in the number of cars delivered as it ramped up production.

The figures

Tesla’s total revenue rose 33 per cent year-on-year to $1.27bn (£959m) in the quarter ended 30 June.

The company delivered 14,402 vehicles in the second quarter, missing its goal of 17,000. Its rise in sales of its Model S and Model X electric cars failed to make up for the costs of ramping up production.

However, Tesla said it is on track to deliver around 50,000 new Model S and Model X cars in the second half of 2016, at a “steady production rate of 2,200 vehicles per week” in the third quarter, and 2,400 per week in the fourth quarter.

Read more: Brand Union's Toby Southgate talks takeovers and Tesla's higher purpose

Excluding items, Tesla lost $1.06 per share, compared with 48 cents in the same period of last year. Analysts had expected a loss of 52 cents per share, according to a Thomson Reuters poll.

The company’s net loss widened to $293m, or $2.09 per share, in the second quarter, from $184.2m, or $1.45 per share, in 2015. It was the 13th consecutive quarterly loss.

The company's share price was down 0.62 per cent at the time of writing in after-hours trading, to $225.79.

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Why it's interesting

This week, green energy firm SolarCity accepted a $2.6bn all-stock takeover deal from Tesla. The deal, which Musk has called a "no-brainer", will combine the creator of green energy via solar panels with a company which makes electric cars.

Read more: Will Tesla make money any time soon?

Musk recently unveiled his "Master Plan, Part Deux", ten years after the company's original plan launched. He revealed the company is working on technologies including solar power, electric vehicles of all shapes and sizes (including SUVs and pickup trucks) and fully self-driving vehicles.

What Tesla said

Founder and chief executive Elon Musk said:

Despite the disciplined pace of capital spending in the first half of this year, we still expect to invest about $2.25bn in capital expenditures in 2016, in support of our accelerated production plan for Model 3.

As we move ever closer to the launch of Model 3, we remain as excited as ever for the future of Tesla.

In short

Musk is still optimistic about his electric car company, but it will need to deliver on its promises in the second half to make the production ramp up worthwhile.

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