Electric-car maker Tesla has reported first-quarter revenue that more than doubled, and while saying the upcoming Model 3 is on schedule for July, it downplayed the mass-market vehicle to give a sales pitch for its more expensive Model S.
Chief executive Elon Musk’s bold approach to cars, space exploration, and clean energy has fuelled investor enthusiasm for Tesla. Sceptics are waiting to see if Musk can fulfil his promise of producing 500,000 cars per year in 2018, or six times Tesla’s 2016 production.
“We have seen some impact of Model S orders as a function of people being confused” that Model 3 is the upgrade to Model S, said Musk.
Record deliveries helped Tesla boost its revenue to $2.7bn (€2.45bn) in the quarter, but a net loss widened to $330.3m from $282.3m a year earlier, largely driven by its SolarCity acquisition.
Tesla needs to ramp up for a deluge of Model 3 customers, and the company said it would be adding nearly 100 retail, delivery, and service locations worldwide, representing a 30% increase.
The company reiterated its forecast of delivering 47,000-50,000 Model S and Model X cars in the first half of 2017, a target it announced earlier this year.
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