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Tesla Deliveries Surge 70% in Q3

Upturn after EV maker’s first-half sales shortfall.

by on Oct.03, 2016

The Tesla Model X launch has been a thorn in the company's side, production still a challenge.

Tesla Motors saw third-quarter deliveries of its Models S and X battery-electric vehicles surge 70% during the third quarter, a significant improvement over recent quarters that saw the California-based manufacturer fall short of its targets.

Tesla also said that it expects deliveries during the fourth quarter to come in “at or slightly above” the July to September numbers, something that would put the maker on a path to rolling out more than 2,000 of the battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, each week for the rest of the year.

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In turn, company officials have indicated that could translate into a profit for the maker – using non-standard accounting procedures – after some recent, heavy losses.

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Tesla Losses Mount as Sales Fall Short

CEO Musk insists production getting back on track.

by on Aug.03, 2016

Tesla CEO Musk with an image of the troublesome Model X which missed production targets.

Burdened by a slower-than-expected roll-out of its Model X sedan, with sales overall falling short, Tesla Motors delivered an unexpectedly deep loss for the second quarter of the year.

The automaker, which has been using its own accounting procedures, said it lost $293 million, or $2.09 a share, for the April to June quarter. Excluding special one-time items, the loss narrowed to $150 million, or $1.06 a share. But that was still well below Wall Street’s expectations, analysts predicting the maker would lose $0.65 a share.

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The maker tried to put a positive spin on the weak performance by looking forward. “Production and demand are on track to support deliveries of approximately 50,000 Model S and Model X vehicles during the second half of 2016,” CEO Elon Musk and CFO Jason Wheeler said in a joint statement announcing the earnings.

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Tesla Cuts Price on Model X and Drops Buyback Guarantee

Moves follows cut in Model S price, shortfall in Q2 production and sales.

by on Jul.14, 2016

The Model X 60D cuts range to just over 200 miles but is $9.000 less than the 75D.

Struggling to build sales momentum, Tesla says it will launch a new, lower-priced version of its Model X crossover-utility vehicle. The automaker took a similar step to deliver a more affordable version of its Model S sedan last month.

The move follows news that Tesla had missed both its production and sales targets for the second quarter of 2016 – and as the automaker faces three separate investigations related to potential problems with its semi-autonomous Autopilot system.

We'll Keep You Charged Up!

But while potential buyers will now be able to purchase a Tesla Model X 60D for $74,000, or $9,000 less than the old base battery-electric SUV, Tesla is doing away with the guaranteed buyback program that covered the Model S sedan, assuring owners they would get at least 50% of the purchase price back after three years.

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Tesla Production Up, But Sales Fall Short of Goal

Investigation ramps up into fatal Model S Autopilot crash.

by on Jul.05, 2016

The Model X accounted for barely a third of Tesla's second-quarter production.

While the U.S. new car market is clearly slowing down after a spectacular rebound from the Great Recession, Tesla Motors continues to boost sales at a double-digit pace – but still managed to fall short of expectations.

Tesla says it delivered 14,370 vehicles during the second quarter, but that was 15% less than the 17,000 the battery carmaker had predicted as recently as May. While Tesla had been hoping to roughly split production between the Model S sedan and newer Model X battery SUV, volume was still weighted more than two-to-one towards the electric sedan, apparently reflecting ongoing quality and production problems with the utility vehicle.

Beyond the Headlines!

News of the weak market performance comes at an inopportune time for Tesla. The maker is facing an investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration over the fatal crash of a Model S being driven in semi-autonomous Autopilot mode. There has been growing concern about the system, with numerous reports of it being misused by owners.

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Chevrolet Volt Plugs into the Battery Car Sales Lead

Nissan Leaf loses momentum despite increased range.

by on Jun.02, 2016

The second-gen Chevy Volt got a new, roomier design, better performance and longer EV-mode range.

After seemingly coming unplugged, the newly redesigned Chevrolet Volt has charged into the U.S. sales lead among plug-based vehicles, overtaking long-time rival Nissan Leaf.

That’s based on the likelihood that at least 10% of the demand for the Tesla Model S has come from abroad through the end of May, a strong likelihood considering the long-range electric sedan now is being marketed in a number of countries, including China and the European Union.

Green Tech!

Even factoring out those overseas sales, and with a number of manufacturers not yet breaking out May battery-car numbers, there’s good reason for EV advocates to celebrate. After taking a tumble last year in the wake of a sharp downturn in gas prices, sales of plug-based vehicles have been recharged in recent month.

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Tesla Model 3 Buyers Won’t Get Free Lifetime Use of Superchargers

CEO Musk confesses to a series of “clueless” moves during shareholders meeting.

by on Jun.01, 2016

Tesla eventually plans to have "several 100" Supercharger stations across the U.S. and Canada.

When the new Tesla Model 3 goes on sale later next year, buyers will spend barely half as much for the 200-mile battery-car as the company currently charges for its original Model S sedan – but they could be in for some hefty, additional fees, especially if they also want to use Tesla’s Supercharger system.

That’s a network of high-speed chargers that let a motorist get up to an 80% “re-fill” in 30 minutes or less, depending upon the capacity of the battery. Use of the Supercharger system is free for life for owners of the Model S and newer Model X.

Stay Plugged In!

“Free supercharging fundamentally has a cost. The obvious thing to do is decouple that from the cost of the Model 3,” Musk said during Tesla’s annual shareholders meeting. “It will not be free long distance for life unless you purchase that package.”

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Why is Tesla’s Musk Sleeping on the Factory Floor?

Battery-carmaker “hell-bent” on solving quality problems, says CEO.

by on May.05, 2016

CEO Elon Musk trying to get out of the trouble Model 3 through its falcon doors.

He may be worth billions, but Tesla Motors founder and CEO Elon Musk apparently likes to rough it. He’s been spending a lot of nights curled up in a sleeping bag at the company’s Fremont, California assembly plant, he revealed during a Wednesday evening teleconference.

It has nothing to do with the fact that Musk is getting divorced again. The South African-born executive is trying to stay as close as possible to the plant as it struggles to resolve embarrassing quality problems while getting set up for next year’s launch of the Model 3 battery-electric vehicle.

Electrifying!

The well-reported quality snags have already cost the bigger Tesla Model S its coveted “Recommended Buy” endorsement from influential Consumer Reports magazine. And industry analysts warn that if the problem carries over to the Model 3, it could short-circuit initially strong demand for the more affordable electric sedan.

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Has Tesla Been Bending the Numbers for Model 3?

Carmaker claims it has purged speculators from the order banks.

by on May.03, 2016

Only two per household. Tesla insists it has purged multiple reservations for the Model 3.

Tesla’s Model 3 is still about 18 months from production, but the Silicon Valley automaker has already lined up an enviable order book, the ever-ebullient CEO Elon Musk declaring it, “the biggest one-week launch of any product ever.”

But there have been some questions raised about Tesla’s claims. For one thing, potential buyers have been plunking down $1,000 refundable reservations, not orders. They’ve still got plenty of time to decide if they actually will purchase one of the compact battery-electric vehicles once they finally begin rolling off Tesla’s Fremont, California assembly line.

Keeping Things Honest!

And are consumers really the ones making these reservations? Or are speculators and others who really have no intention of ever taking delivery of a Model 3 inflating the list?

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Tesla Hammered by New Quality Woes with Model X

Battery SUV “more likely to have problems,” warns Consumer Reports.

by on Apr.20, 2016

The Tesla Model X falcon doors have been a major source of problems for owners.

Tesla is being hammered again for quality woes as a growing number of owners complain about the new Model X battery-electric sport-utility vehicle.

And after soaring to recent highs, the California carmaker’s stock is tumbling in the wake of a new report by Consumer Reports magazine spotlighting issues such as the frequent failure of the unique “falcon doors” on the Model X. The magazine noted a variety of other issues that have left customers increasingly frustrated.

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“Tesla message boards are already swelling with complaints from Model X owners regarding balky doors, interior trim-piece tolerances, paint-spray quality, malfunctioning second-row seats, sheet-metal panel gaps, and climate control issues,” Consumer Reports said in website post.

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Tesla Gives Model S a New Face

Grille-less look more in line with new Model 3.

by on Apr.13, 2016

Tesla will launch production of the updated Model S, with its nearly grille-less nose, next month

Tesla is a brand that likes to do things its own way. The battery-carmaker doesn’t even use model-year designations, insisting it constantly updates its products, rather than waiting for some arbitrary date to make changes.

But occasionally, some revisions stand out, like the new face Tesla is giving the big Model S sedan. The new look is more in line with the grille-less look first seen on the new Tesla Model 3 sedan at its big launch late last month. The idea, it seems, is to make it absolutely clear this is an electric vehicle.

Keep Charged Up!

There are other changes with the Model S, including a more powerful built-in charger that should cut recharging times. There are more interior options, as well as a pollution control system that, suggests Tesla, could fend off a bioweapon assault.

“We often talk about all of the ways that Tesla vehicles get better over time,” said a Tesla statement. “Through previous software updates we’ve made Model S faster, smarter and even introduced industry leading safety and convenience features.”

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