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Q4 results

Heard a little rumor a press release on Q4 numbers is coming out soon... Did anyone else hear this?

51 sounds a bit too much to me. Europe sales probably wont go as high as North America for Model S simply because it costs so much more here, and same applies even more to Model X: SUV:s are nowhere close as popular here as they are in North America.

I think it is closer to 15k Model S + 0.7*15k Model X = 25500 (annually) than 51000. Far less than vgrinshpun estimates.

I think TM needs to build GenIII affordable car before they can get real breakthrough here in Europe.

@Timo - estimates obviously vary depending on who puts them ogether. There are several facts, however, worth noting:
1. This estimate was given by Elon Musk, not vgrinshpun
2. Underlying market for luxury cars in the mold of Model S is split 30% North America, 70% Europe and Asia
3. Gasoline prices, tax policies and average length of trip in other parts of the world make EV more economical choice than in US
4. Currently Europe and Asia accounts for 25% of all reservations even though thre are no stores and no cars on display

I find it impressive that Tesla is going after the European and Asian markets already. It is hard to do - different regulations, slightly different car, lots of overhead, etc. but as the luxury car market numbers show, there is lots of demand there. I still say the most impressive thing in that quarterly report is that they are cash positive now. This allows the company to grow more quickly as their sales grow. Shareholders will not have to worry about another dilutive share offering soon. As least not til they start spending lots of money on gen III, and maybe even not then.

Tesla is one impressive company indeed. Their decision making in any area one could think of - engineering, manufacturing, business, marketing, public relationships - proven to be superb. I believe that shareholders will be rewarded nicely if they stick with Tesla.

The big boys might be destined just to play catch-up for quite some time.

At least some of them are taking notice. Last Saturday I hang-out at the Delaware SC location to see the Tesla Road Trip owners go on their NYT challenge trip and observed Tesla Model S that was owned by Volkswagen charging there. The two guys seemingly test driving it for Volkswagen were clearly not interested in publicity, but with their luck were at the superchargers at the wrong time...

V -- w're VW people in dark glasses and Hawaiian shirts turning away hoping you wouldn't notice?

Ik - plain clothes, no glasses, but awkward and uncomfortable. Delaware SC is at the very busy rest stop. There were a lot of Tesla cars, owners eagerly answering numerous questions from on-lookers and well-wishers... The Volkswagen guys just did not fit there...

@vgrinshpun, what were Elon exact words? I have not seen transcript of that yet (if someone posted a link I have missed that).

v - just curious, how did you find out the S is VW owned.

@Timo, The link for webcast of the Q4 call is included below. There is at least one transcript at Seeking Alfa site, but many who used it point out that it is wildly inaccurate. I suggest listening to the webcast.

Kleist - from one of the Model S owners who took part in the Road Trip. His car was charging next to the Volkswagen owned Model S. A

IIRC, Martin Eberhard hired on with VW as an EV consultant at one point. Don't know if he's still there.

vgrinshpun: There are indeed stores and cars in Europe. The Tesla store in Oslo, Norway has two cars. One for display (a beta I think) and a production model for test drives. The test drive car is unfortunately in crash repair at this time, due to an idiot in a Q5 that did not respect the right of way.

While the Model S is more expensive in Norway than in the US in absolute terms, it is cheaper in relative terms. A M5 is 3x the price of a P85 here while a base 60kWh costs the same as a lightly optioned VW Passat 2.0TDI.

Great information, jkirkebo - it makes my point about Model S being much more attractive buying proposition in at least some European contries as compared to USA.

Let's make some assumptions and then compare these two cars. Please feel free to correct assumptions regarding the Norway as I am going to throw some numbers which I remember from different sources, but not 100% sure.

1. Price of Electricity $0.03 per kWh
2. Gasoline $8.00 per gallon
3. VW Passat TDI overall fuel economy 35mpg
4. Model S power overall consumption 380/0.85=447Wh per mile (average efficiency of the charger = 0.85)

So the question is why would anybody choose less sporty, slower car (8.9 sec 0-60mph for VW vs. 5.9 for 60kWh MS), which is significantly smaller (5 inches shorter and 5 inches narrower), has about twice less luggage space (15.9 cu ft VW vs. 31.6 cu ft MS), and costs 17 times (!) more per mile to operate (22.85 cents per mile VW vs. 1.34 for MS) ?? In Norway Model S wins this comparison hands down.

It would be interesting if somebody from other European countries can chime in on how this comparison holds in their respective countries.

Jkirkebo - regarding right hand drive, you can't lay of the local rep and make zero sales effort and expect reservations to rise, as they were doing prior to that event. The roadster was sold here, even though at DOUBLE the USA price!! Japan is a large market also.. With a sales person and a get amped tour, I have little doubt that reservations would take off, and further once a few deliveries were on the road you can rest assured the market in Australia is much larger than reservations represent. Our gas costs are 1.50 per liter and our off peak electricity is around 12c, so energy is expensive here. However, we have a lot of sunlight!! The point is, though, that Tesla was prepared to take our money, but now is doing exactly what they are doing to the 40 kwh folks in the home country. They DO need to be up front with us. If we are not going to see cars here for the next 2 to three years, then I want my money back!
I wrote to George asking what the state of play was immediately following the call. NO REPLY! Yet other communications from me to him were answered virtually immediately, as I posted over on TMC where I considered him to be incredibly responsive. Silence from the company is not helping. If they are simply using our funds with little intention to deliver, that is simply dishonest. Teslas financial considerations do not figure in my calculations. They offered a car in this market, were more than happy to take our deposits, and now appear to be reneging on supply. The right thing to do would be to be up front about their plans and offer us refunds. I am not canceling yet, but do want some official communication from senior management, not platitudes from lower downs...


1. Electricity is sadly not 3 cents/kWh, but aound 15 cents at this time. We mostly buy electricity on spot market prices, so the price can vary quite a lot over the year.
2. Gasoline is just under $10/gal now.

So yes, the Model S is very competetive. Thre is however one problem, and that is no hitch and no tow rating. My guess is that 90% of the VW Passats are sold with the hitch, and it can tow around 3100 pounds. No hitch is a deal breaker for quite a lot of people. I wish Tesla would fix this ASAP.

A hitch is available aftermarket in the USA.

Dborn -- question is in to Tesla right now on whether or not putting on a trailer hitch will void the service and warranty agreement... Currently awaiting the answer.

In an interview with Bloomberg Elon Musks confirms that he sees demand for Model S in each of Europe and Asia to be equal to the demand in US, although mentioning somewhat lower pgojection that he mentioned in Q4 conference cal: 10-12K each vs. 10-15K each in conference call.

Interrestingly Elon indicates that Tesla Model sees it's biggest eurpean market as Germany. Sounds like a direct challenge to Audi, MB and BMW...


vgrinshpun: I thought I remember them stating that Model X wouldn't start production until end of 2014, so your numbers may be good 2015 guidance.


It was said in the Model X unveiling (the video which was posted in February of 2012) that Model X would start production at the "end of next year" which means 2013.

At least thats what I got out of the announcement. If it has changed tho, I have not read it.

@cloroxbb: you are correct - my mistake - I just reviewed the press release, and it does state end of 2013/beginning of 2014. I don't know how I got a year off in my mind. Thanks.

You scared me for a second, thought it changed :)

I think that's an "underpredict, over-achieve" ploy. MS has played that one for years.

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