Tesla Motors reported third quarter earnings on Tuesday that fell short of Wall Street expectations as well as expectations of analysts surveyed by CNN Money. It did report a gain in cash, and in a statement Tesla said it is still on track to complete the production of the first Model 3 cars at its Fremont, CA factory by the end of this year.
While the company delayed delivery and production of the first Tesla Semi vehicles to a later date, it said it is still on target to complete the manufacturing ramp up and delivery of a second series of Semi vehicles by the end of next year. The company said that it will accelerate the pace of production of the second series of Semi trucks. In a research note to clients, Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas noted that Tesla plans to produce a limited number of all electric semis for sales in China and Europe this year and will eventually increase production to more than 500 units per month.
The first Tesla Semi was supposed to be delivered to trucking companies next year. However, in its third quarter report, the company said it had not yet received a final order from a trucking or manufacturing equipment manufacturer for the Semi truck. It also noted that it had not received a final customer for the second series of vehicles.
However, Tesla plans to build a factory in Buffalo, New York to assemble the second series of vehicles. This new facility should be able to create a workforce of about three hundred workers when it begins production in the second half of this year, which should allow it to begin production within the third quarter. A final decision on a factory for production is expected by the end of the year. If a factory is not acquired in Buffalo, then the company could move to Texas or Missouri.
In the third quarter, it is likely that the second batch of vehicles being manufactured by the second Semi truck production line in Michigan will begin shipping to customers. However, production will continue into the fourth quarter and beyond to meet demand from customers. In addition, it expects to begin taking delivery of one hundred of its newly designed fully electric semi trucks in the fourth quarter of this year.
The company also noted that it has added new dealers and service centers in Arizona, Nevada, and Utah to service the existing Model S and X vehicles. With a larger fleet of electric semi trucks to provide to customers, it should be able to handle more vehicle requests for service. and have fewer repairs due to overstocking issues.
Its goal with the introduction of the Semi truck line is to improve on the Model S, which has been a flop so far, according to analysts. Analysts expect the vehicle to hit the market soon.
However, analysts do not expect the price of the Semi to break even in its first year on the market, and most expect a loss in the first few months after the launch. Most analysts expect the price of the semi truck to rise gradually over time as it matures and gains in demand. If it is able to maintain the level it has achieved in the third quarter, it will achieve good results and may well reach its first full year on the market in the second half of this year. In the past, analysts have been pessimistic about the growth prospects of the semi truck, as sales have not been as high as hoped for by Wall Street.
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