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Tesla Turns A Corner -- And A Profit

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Tesla Roadster

Tesla Roadster

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Tesla Motors -- the flashy electric automaker capable of evoking schadenfreude in even the most enthusiastic EV fan -- met two major milestones in July: the company sold a record number of Tesla Roadsters, and perhaps more importantly, it netted $1 million on $20 million of gross income.

In all, the company sold 109 Tesla Roadsters in July, and we'll assume that included in that number are at least a few Tesla Roadster Sport models, which the company began delivering last month. (The standard Roadster rings in at $101,500, while the Sport model retails for $120,000.) Tesla credits its newfound profitability to reduced costs and higher profit margins on existing vehicles, likely due in part to economies of scale. It's interesting to point out that the company has stayed in the black even while opening new showrooms; on the other hand, if the company had made the jump to San Jose as intended, Tesla's profit story might've turned out differently.

No word on what's brought about the increase in Roadster sales. It's unlikely that the Cash-for-Clunkers buzz boosted the numbers on such high-ticket vehicles. (It would only be the "buzz" and not the actual program, since the Roadster's retail price puts it about the Cash-for-Clunkers-mandated $45,000 ceiling.) However, the company's new vehicle-financing program -- coordinated through Bank of America and announced in July -- may have had a very direct effect.

It's nice to have some good news from a company that's been riddled with controversy lately. Despite the hot air we often get from Tesla's outspoken executives, the company's goal of developing stylish and (eventually) affordable electric automobiles is laudable -- if for no other reason than it's making major automakers sit up and take notice. We just hope that Tesla's current round of legal problems don't put a damper on its profit-positive trend.


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Comments (6)
  1. Wow That makes pretty good sense to me!@

  2. Thats one pretty expensive import.........

  3. One day, and soon, somebody will develop a two seater, tandem style super commuter car based on Tesla's technologies, manufacture it in China to keep costs down, and retail it to American suburb dwellers, students, working poor, retirees, service industry part-timers, occasional workers, or family men strapped to unpayable mortgages, giving them cheap transportation, and cash left over to pay off debt! GM (America) couldn't do it with the four wheeled massive heavy Volt, but a Three wheeled uber-fast ultralight commuter with motorcycle licensing just might do the trick!

  4. @Uncle B: Can we assume you're talking about the Aptera 2e?

  5. Electric vehicles are now officially profitable. A big day.
    It looks like the Nissan Leaf will be the big game-changer though, assuming it ends up being as cheap as they say it will. If that's the case then it may be even cheaper than gas-powered cars in many countries due to subsidies.

  6. Very cool news! Nice to see more and more businesses starting to turn a profit lately. Wasn't aware of Tesla Motors' financial woes, though...hopefully that gets worked out in their favor.

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