The youngest publicly traded US automaker, the Silicon Valley company that has set out to revolutionize the green automobile, is actually losing at least $4,000 on every Model S electric sedan it sells.
Using the figures stemming from the released company operating losses it appears that Tesla has burned $359 million in cash last quarter in a market that has been extremely positive for luxury brands. The Company last week announced it was lowering its full year production and sales guidance for this year and 2016 and chief executive officer Elon Musk also hinted the company was not exploring options to gather funds, including a possible stock sale. The billionaire entrepreneur and co-founder has been treating investors to a rollercoaster ride since Tesla went public back in 2010. And he has now posted an internal deadline – the company will be financially successful in jumping from producing just one utterly expensive, low volume model to the mass production of several cars and also looking after the business of manufacturing electric power storage systems. Tesla now has a cash reserve of just $1.15 billion – after owning in its vaults $2.67 billion during the same period last year.
Traditional automakers use cash to invest in assembly line equipment, including metal dies and plastic molds, as well as testing to ensure they meet safety and emissions targets. Usually, a new model developed from the ground up will cost in excess of one billion dollars. Established automakers have cash reserves that would make Tesla utterly jealous: GM for example today has more than $28 billion in cash equivalents as of June 30.