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News of growth, ambition, and expansion for Tesla
Posted on May 07, 2015 by Matt Pressman
The biggest news in last night’s Tesla Motors Q1 Earnings Report (and their follow-up conference call with analysts) was the company’s expansion into the Tesla Energy business. "The response has been overwhelming, like crazy, off-the-hook" since the stationary battery storage line was announced last Thursday, said Elon Musk. "We're basically sold out through the middle of next year in the first week... the sheer volume of demand here is staggering," said Musk.
Musk said that Tesla already, in one week, has had 38,000 reservations for their Powerwall home battery (noting that many reservations were for multiple units). And, Tesla is also “triaging requests” for another 2,500 of their larger Powerpack utility battery reservations. Musk explained, "We could have the entire [Gigafactory] battery plant just do stationary storage.” .
On the automotive front, news of growth was significant. Tesla delivered 10,045 cars (a 55% increase from the year before) in the first quarter, helping it beat Wall Street's estimates (see graph below). And, the company is on track to meet its lofty goal of delivering 55,000 vehicles this year. That would be a 70% increase over the number of vehicles it shipped in 2014. Tesla should have "really good" cash flow in the fourth quarter, Elon Musk explained, confirming the company will be cash-flow positive in Q4 this year.
Musk explained that vehicle production might actually double in Q4 if all goes right. Much of that hinges on the “ramp” for Model X production. He noted that the Model X should be available (to configure) on Tesla’s website by July, with initial deliveries late Q3. "I drove the latest prototype of it today and it was, like, wow, this is by far the best SUV.” He added, "Performance is surreal...nothing to compare it to.” And, as a side note, another proof-point of these prototype Model X vehicles was spotted just yesterday (see below).
Source: Google Plus user, Ron Talain
Musk also plans to show the Model 3 in March of next year and be in production in late 2017. He said Tesla is currently doing “advance work” on the Model 3 and confirmed that they have “very early prototypes”. Note: the image below is simply a recent artist concept rendering seen on a french automotive website, but, we're still "in the dark" as to what the Model 3 design may look like -- but, it's encouraging to hear we'll get our first glimpse by March 2016.
Source: AutoMoto artist concept rendering of Model 3
Apple came up during questioning and Musk said: “I hope Apple gets into the car business. That would be great.” But he noted that five times as many employees go from Apple to Tesla, not the other way round.
And in yet another sign that the company is growing, it was reported late last night that Tesla reached a deal to acquire Riviera Tool, marking it's first acquisition. Riviera, which makes stamping parts that are shipped to Tesla's assembly plant in Fremont, Calif., has about 100 employees. Tesla is expected to retain those workers and eventually rename the operation Tesla Tool & Die. This acquisition will give the Silicon Valley company a manufacturing presence in Michigan.
Tesla Q1 2015 Earnings Call
For Tesla Motors Q1 2015 Shareholder Letter, visit here.