Tesla Quarterly Loss Bigger Than Estimates, Model S Production to Increase image

Tesla announced its plans to increase production of its Model S this year by at least 25%, once the startup snags are solved.

Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk said that he will increase Model S production at the Fremont plant, in California to 500 units weekly in mid-2013, after it reached 400 units a week in December. But the automaker will hold from increasing output until it solves the issues of delayed shipments and high amounts of overtime the company has to deal with in 2012.

Tesla plans to sell 20,000 lithium-ion battery-powered sedans in 2013, after it failed to deliver the targeted 5,000 units last year. The automaker relies on demand for the Model S, priced from $60,000, to increase profit and expects growth to accelerate in 2014, once the Model X crossover will hit the market.

“I want to keep the company on a steady production pace and focus on efficiency,” said Musk, 41, Tesla’s chief executive officer and biggest shareholder. “We need to level off and focus on running a real tight ship.”

Yesterday, February 20th, Tesla reported a net loss for the fourth quarter larger than the analysts’ forecasts, the company saying that the reason is a jump in operating costs at the beginning of production. During the fourth quarter operating expenses increased 29% to $114.7 million, due to higher component prices and logistics costs.