California-based electric automaker Tesla Motors announced fourth quarter financial and sales results that fell below internal targets and analyst expectations, but Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk remained bullish and projected growth that would yield a market value of $700 billion, rivaling Apple by 2025.
The optimism seems forced, since the niche electric automaker had quite a difficult fourth quarter in which it struggled with production issues in America and had delivery mishaps in several regions – including China, where the executive expected sales to rival the ones at home. Investors further backed from Tesla after finding out that the carmaker expects further massive capital and operating expenses during the year. Last quarter the company surpassed its targeted operating expenses after planned expansion of the global sales network and development of the eagerly-awaited new Model X crossover.
Musk forecasted for the year revenue growth to $6 billion, from $3.2 billion in 2014. Tesla added it manufactured during the quarter a record 11,627 cars, lifting total production to 35,000 units for the year – exactly as projected. But there were issues here as well, since the company delivered only 31,655 units and blamed the delays for pushing some of the deliveries into the first quarter of 2015. The company further forecasted it would lift global sales to around 55,000 cars worldwide this year, jumping 74 percent as the deliveries of the first Model X crossovers should begin somewhere after the second part of the year. Musk added that Tesla’s planned affordable electric sedan, the $35,000 Model 3 is scheduled for initial production by the second half of 2017 – with a design that would be more conventional than the “adventurous” gullwinged Model X crossover – which had brought delays in its introduction.