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posted on 2020-10-21 21:03:00 .
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On Wednesday, Tesla published its financial results for the third quarter of 2020. The company says it ended Q3 2020 with a GAAP profit of $331 million, the fifth profitable quarter in a row for the US automaker. Despite the pandemic, it’s a strong improvement on Q3 2019.
Tesla ends Q3 2020 with a positive free cash flow of $1.4 billion and $14.5 billion in cash and cash equivalents. Tesla says in its presentation to investors that Q3 was marked by substantial growth in vehicle deliveries, which counteracted a decrease in the average selling price as the company sells fewer and fewer Models S and X and sells more and more Models 3 and Y. Regulatory credits accounted for $397 million of its revenues, and the company had to pay out $280 million in stock-based compensation for CEO Elon Musk after the company reached certain milestones.
The automaker had already released data on its Q3 deliveries earlier in October, but to reiterate, it made 16,992 Models S and X, delivering 15,725 of the same. Models 3 and Y production clocked in at 128,044; in total, it delivered 124,318 of these vehicles during the three months in question. Impressively, total deliveries are up 54 percent quarter-on-quarter and 44 percent year-on-year. In total, the company’s automotive business brought in $7.6 billion in revenue.
Tesla says that it has now increased capacity of Models 3 and Y production to 500,000 vehicles a year at its factory in Fremont, California, and that it expects to reach full capacity toward the end of 2020 or the beginning of 2021. It says that its plant in Shanghai, China, has increased capacity to 250,000 vehicles a year and now operates with three shifts. The company says that the factory in Berlin, Germany, is underway and that equipment should begin arriving in “the coming weeks,” with production starting next year.
Tesla’s battery storage business also had a good third quarter of the year, deploying 759MWh, an 81 percent increase over Q2 2020. It was even a good quarter for the company’s solar operation, which deployed 57MW, an increase of 111 percent on Q2. Tesla says this is because of a new strategy of low-cost solar panels. In total, these two parts of Tesla’s business contributed $579 million in revenue for the quarter.
The company says it has the capacity now to build and deliver half a million electric vehicles in 2020, and that remains its target. That would require building 170,020 vehicles and delivering 181,020 vehicles for the final three months of the year. Tesla says it will achieve this through increased production of the Model Y and an increase in the output of its Chinese factory.
Tesla says it has sufficient liquidity to finance the development of its forthcoming Roadster and Cybertruck and that it will continue to “significantly invest in its product roadmap.” Consequently, R&D spending actually grew a little to its highest amount in several quarters at $366 million.
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