Tesla hopes to turn a profit in 2020 with increased production

Posted on 15 Jan 2015 by Tim Brown
Tesla Model S in production at the companys California manufacturing facility (Image courtesy of Tesla)
Tesla Model S in production at the companys California manufacturing facility (Image courtesy of Tesla).

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk has said the manufacturer will ramp up production of its electric cars to “at least a few million a year” by 2025 and hopes the company will turn a profit in 2020.

Speaking at the Automotive News World Congress, which runs alongside the Detroit Auto Show, Musk said the long-delayed Tesla Model X sport utility vehicle will be released over the summer, while the entry-level Model 3 is set to launch in 2017.

The Tesla factory in Palo Alto, California - image courtesy of Tesla.
The Tesla factory in Palo Alto, California – image courtesy of Tesla.

Musk said profit would come to the Palo Alto-based company in 2020 with plans to double its annual production every to exceed 500,000 and reach “several million” by 2025.

Last year, Tesla produced about 35,000 of its Model S electric sports sedan, which has an average sales price of about US$100,000 (£65,000).

Tesla hit Chinese speed bump

One of the Telsa supercharger facilities in the US - image courtesy of Tesla
One of the Telsa supercharger facilities in the US – image courtesy of Tesla

Tesla sales in China were surprisingly slow in Q4, which Musk blamed on confusion among Chinese consumers who believe incorrectly that there may be difficulties in charging electric vehicles.

“We’ll fix the China issue and be in pretty good shape probably in the middle of the year,” he said.

Musk, who last year said Tesla will begin phasing in “autopilot” features on its Model S sedan, predicted that the company will be first to market with a fully automated car. Musk predicted Tesla would have a car ready by 2020 but admitted it may take seveal more years after that to achieve regulatory approval.

Musk said Tesla likely would be unlikely to achieve full profitability until the Model 3 ramps up to full production in 2020 but it may report non-GAAP profits before then as sales volume rises.

Musk said the Model 3 would sell for less than $30,000 once government incentives, such as the $7,500 tax credit to buyers of electric cars, are included.

General Motors said its new all-electric Bolt, which it plans to launch in 2017, would be sold at a similar price.

Musk told attendees at the Automotive News World Congress that “we could make money now if we weren’t investing” in new technology and vehicles such as the Model 3 and expanded retail networks.