Tesla reveals 2017 financial results, records near $2B loss


2018 Tesla Model 3

2018 Tesla Model 3

Investors have rallied around Tesla, riding high on a wave of future promises from the electric car company. Tesla's 2017 financial results released on Wednesday still show the company has a long way to go, however.

Tesla lost a total of $1.96 billion in 2017 and posted its worst financial quarter ever in Q4. The company ended up losing a record $675.4 million in the three months ending last December, topping the previous high of a $619 million loss in the previous quarter.

It wasn't all bad news, though. Tesla's revenue rose $1 billion year-over-year to $3.29 billion and profits increased thanks to the sale of zero-emission vehicle credits to other automakers.

Customer deposits also increased from $663 million to $858 million last year, likely due to the surprise introduction of the 2020 Tesla Roadster and plenty of pre-orders for the Tesla Semi.

Tesla acknowledged it missed its production targets for the Model 3 electric car last year as well. The company said it planned to build 5,000 vehicles a week by last December. Instead, Tesla assembled just 2,400 cars in Q4. Again, the company blamed "production bottlenecks" as the reason for production delays, but it did not detail what these "bottlenecks" actually were.

With that in mind, Tesla announced new production goals for the Model 3. By the end of Q1 2018, Tesla wants to build 2,500 of the sedans per week. It then hopes to lift this to the 5,000 car-per-week goal by the end of Q2 2018. We'll remind you that Tesla moved this target to the end of Q1 after missing it last December, so there's no real guarantee we'll see it by the end of Q2, either.

Tesla has a history of over-promising on products and constant production delays, but its loyal fans have stuck around. The company added 2018 should be a transformative year with a "high level of operational scaling." Others aren't so optimistic.

 
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