Tesla’s revenue for the third quarter ended 30 September 2015 was up 6.6% to US$852.55m. The operational loss widened to $183.7m. Loss before income taxes widened to $228.1m from $70.98m. Net loss increased to $229.85m compared to $74.7m in Q3 2014.
Nine-month revenue was up 24% to $2.62bn compared with $2.11bn. Operations loss increased to $456.3m compared to $111.85m. Loss before income taxes widened to $560.3m from $186.4m. Net loss rose to $568.3m from $186.4m in the red a year ago.
In the fourth quarter, Tesla plans to build 15,000 to 17,000 vehicles and deliver 17,000 to 19,000, taking the year’s volume to 50,000 to 52,000.
Model S production and deliveries are on track to achieve its initial fourth quarter plan, the automaker said. The primary limiting factor to higher fourth quarter deliveries is the near term ramp-up of Model X production with the biggest constraint being the supply of components related to the second row monopost seats.
Tesla has now brought manufacturing of these seats in-house but the company and some of its other Model X suppliers are still ramping up and fine tuning production.
These factors add uncertainty to build plans during the fourth quarter but Tesla thinks emphasising quality is the right decision for its customers.
It expects Model X will achieve “steady state production capacity” during the first quarter as it doesn’t expect any significant production, design or supply chain constraints. It “remains highly confident” of average production and deliveries of 1,600 to 1,800 vehicles per week for Model S and Model X combined during 2016.
Average vehicle sales price is expected to increase slightly in the fourth quarter with more deliveries of highly optioned Model X vehicles. It expects the fourth quarter Model S gross margin to improve sequentially, but initial Model X launch expenses and higher overhead and depreciation allocations to temporarily hike total production costs in the fourth quarter.
As a result, Tesla expects non-GAAP automotive gross margin to decline slightly from the third quarter. After Model X production stabilises in the first quarter of 2016, Tesla expects Model X gross margin to improve rapidly and become comparable to Model S gross margin over the next several quarters, even as it launchs a lower priced version of Model X with a smaller battery pack during 2016.
Tesla plans to spend about $500m in the fourth quarter, which will bring the projected total capital expenditures for this year to about $1.7bn. The increase in spending is primarily due to accelerated investments in the Gigafactory, further vertical integration of seat assembly and other manufacturing activities, as well as faster milestone execution by suppliers for Model X manufacturing equipment and tooling.