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Tesla Loses $397 million in First Quarter of 2017


Tesla reported Wednesday a loss of $397 million off of $2.7 billion in revenues for the first quarter of 2017, more red ink than Wall Street had expected, and $179 million more than its reported loss for the first quarter of 2016.

That bigger loss was the result of greater revenues — $0.9-billion a year earlier compared with the $2.7 billion this past quarter – as Tesla ramped up development of its much-awaited $35,000 (pre-tax credit) Model 3.

The Detroit News, quoting the stock market analysis site, Seeking Alpha, reports that Tesla lost $13,184 per car on a $95,000 average transaction price. At less than half that price, it’s hard to see how Tesla will make money on the Model 3, though CEO Elon Musk said in his conference call with analysts that the new car, due in two to three months, will be “perhaps three to four times as automated as the Model S and X, and much more simple to produce.”

The Tesla Model 3 will be “easier to make” and with a much more efficient, cost-effective supply chain.

“As far as we know, there are no issues” with the launch, Musk said.

Plans are to ramp up Tesla vehicle production to 5,000 units per month by the end of 2017. He said Tesla expects to launch the Model Y sport/utility vehicle based off the Model 3 by 2020, or perhaps late 2019, and that the semi-truck prototype Tesla plans to unveil this fall will use the Model 3’s motor and other components, to further lower costs.

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