Tesla first quarter sales beat expectations image

Tesla Motors Inc., the electric automaker headed by billionaire entrepreneur and co-founder Elon Musk, announced that deliveries during the year’s first quarter jumped 55 percent, exceeding the company’s internal forecast.

Sales during the first three months of the year reached a total of 10,300 autos, with the Palo Alto, California-based producer of the luxury Model S sedan announcing the guidance-beating result in a recent statement. The auto producer previously said in February it would reach deliveries of 9,500 units during the period. Tesla, which is also the youngest and smallest successful publicly traded US carmaker, is mulling an expansion towards mass-market, affordable models by initiating a battery plant project last year, with the construction now undergoing in the vicinity of Reno, Nevada. But while investors have been very faithful in raising the value of the company, the carmaker does have some woes ahead.

In the home market, US gasoline prices last year started to plunge to the lowest levels in half a decade, spurring the sales of less fuel-efficient autos, such as sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks. Additionally, after officially launching the brand last year in April in China, the world’s largest auto market, deliveries in the late months of the year took a diving path, reflecting the woes hybrid and electric cars face in the country. Additionally, last week Musk took to Twitter to say Tesla would introduce “a major new product line — not a car” on April 30. Most likely, the reveal would have to do with the company’s plans to introduce stationary storage batteries for residential customers, according to analysts.