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First profit in three years for Tesla

News   •   Oct 28, 2016 16:11 BST

Tesla reports first quarterly profit for three years following 13 consecutive quarterly losses.

Electric car maker Tesla has reported net income of $21.9M (£17.9) for the third quarter, compared with a loss of $230M a year earlier.

Record deliveries helped to offset rising expenses for next year’s roll-out of the company’s mass-market Model 3 saloon car.

Tesla delivered a record 24,821 cars during the quarter, more than 300 more than estimated.

Chief Executive Elon Musk and Chief Financial Officer Jason Wheeler said in a statement: “The Tesla third quarter results reflect strong company-wide execution in many areas.

“We set new records for vehicle production, deliveries and revenue.”

The quarter’s profit was driven higher by improved sales of the Model S sedan and Model X sport-utility vehicle, a reduction in spending and a boost from selling pollution tax credits to other auto makers.

Tesla’s goal of producing 500,000 cars annually is hoped to be supported by the Model 3, Tesla’s attempt to widen its market appeal with a more affordable car, with a starting price $35,000. It has been reported that so far 400,000 have been pre-ordered. That vehicle will now also include the new hardware recently announced, which will allow all vehicles to drive totally alone.

The firm faces competition from other similarly priced electric cars that will become available first, including General Motors’ Chevy Bolt and BYD’s Qin EV300.

Within the third quarter results, Tesla did not provide an update on its planned $2.6Bn acquisition of solar panel maker SolarCity.

Mr Musk, who is SolarCity’s chairman and main shareholder, has said he plans to provide more financial details on the deal on 1 November before a vote by shareholders of both companies on 17 November.

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