The news this week out of Tesla focused a lot on the Q4 earnings call and the 2016 annual financial report, with overall good numbers and analyst reactions. Part of that confidence came from the anticipated production of the new Model 3, which will be released to employees first as part of a feedback loop. In other areas, an overnight test drive program for prospective buyers turned bad when a driver behind a P100D lost control and crashed. Generally, Teslas score in the highest levels of automotive safety, which is why Tesla may be considering offering customers a package where purchase costs, insurance, and maintenance are bundled together. And, finally, more good news poured out of Nevada, where the Tesla Gigafactory is under construction. All that and more: read on, Teslarati fans….
Tesla released its 2016 Q4 financial results and shareholders letter as well as its annual 2016 overall financial report. With Q4 earnings loss of $.69 per share, Tesla came in at the lower end of the estimate spectrum. Revenue was $2.28 billion versus an estimate of $2.13 billion. For the full year 2016, revenues were up 73% from 2015 at $7 billion. Q4 Model S and X vehicles came in at record high sales numbers. In the days prior to the financial announcement, Tesla stock values had soared to nearly all-time highs.
The Tesla Model 3 configurator is about three or four months away, according to Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Model will be released incrementally for testing and feedback. First deliveries will be offered to employees as part of an internal “feedback loop” to generate information before customers experience the car. Following the employee offering, west coast Tesla owners with geographic proximity to the Fremont factory will have the next opportunity to experience the Model 3. After that, the geographical expansion will continue to other regions and other lucky new Tesla customers.
Last summer, a registration form appeared on the Tesla website in which prospective buyers could apply for an overnight test drive program. A prospective customer near Canmore, Alberta was behind the wheel of a P100D, which is Tesla’s fastest production car, when it crashed into guardrails. Authorized Tesla body shop Contemporary Coachworks declined to release background information regarding the incident, including the Tesla’s speed at the time of impact. Pictures taken afterward do seem to show significant damage, which leads one to wonder what insurance costs will look like for the test run. Maybe the next top featured story of the week isn’t just coincidence….
In Asia, Tesla offers a package to customers that includes the costs of purchase, insurance, and maintenance. That’s a model that Tesla would like to bring to the U.S., according to company information provided this week. This package may be offered in conjunction with external insurance providers or as in-house option. Providing insurance, in addition to other essential coverage, would be another way that Tesla would disrupt a business-as-usual set of practices from top automakers. The company has the capacity to offer this bundled package because Teslas have a strong safety record, which underlies the usual perils inherent in car insurance.
At at time when the talk of the nations is jobs, jobs, Tesla’s job creation numbers at its Gigafactory in northern Nevada are one bright moment in an otherwise stagnant employment scene across the country. With hiring levels at about 150 to 200 more every month, Executive Director Steve Hill told the Senate Finance Committee last week during a budget review meeting that the California-based electric carmaker and energy company may be able to have 3,200 workers by March, 2018. Job creation at the Gigafactory reinforces Tesla’s original commitments when Nevada provided a $1.3 billion tax incentive package to Tesla at a time when the company’s name recognition was quite low.