Tesla Motors reaches profitability on brisk Model S sales

Tesla Motors has been promising investors that it expects to be profitable in the first quarter of 2013.

Apparently they’ve done it. Tesla Motors announced Sunday that it has sold more than 4,750 Model S sedans this quarter, higher than its 4,500 unit outlook. The revised sales figures means that Tesla is amending its Q1 guidance to “full profitability,” both on a GAAP and non-GAAP basis.

“There have been many car start-ups over the past several decades, but profitability is what makes a company real. Tesla is here to stay and keep fighting for the electric car revolution,” said CEO Elon Musk.  “I would also like to thank our customers for their passionate support of the company and the car. Without them, we would not be here.”

The Model S has been available with three battery pack options that offer roughly 160, 230 or 300 miles per charge. Tesla also announced Sunday that it is scraping production of the least powerful, 40 KWh battery pack, due to lack of demand: only four percent of customers who placed reservations chose the 40 KWh option.

So is this what Elon’s cryptic tweet was all about?

No. For that, stay tuned on Tuesday.

Dana Hull Dana Hull (234 Posts)

Dana Hull covers clean technology and energy policy for the San Jose Mercury News. She often writes about electric vehicles, the smart grid, the solar industry and California energy policy, from RPS goals to Gov. Jerry Brown's big dreams for distributed generation.