As the third quarter trickles down to its final hours, Tesla remains fully determined to power forward and end Q3 on a strong note, delivering as many vehicles as it can to reservation holders. While the delivery figures for the quarter would most likely be impressive, questions remain if Tesla can achieve its other, more ambitious goal this Q3 — profitability. If one of Musk’s recent emails to employees are any indication, it appears that the electric car maker is closing in on this goal as well.
This weekend proved to be eventful for Elon Musk and Tesla. Even before Saturday began, Musk took to Twitter to express his gratitude to the Tesla community for supporting the company, particularly owners who are serving as volunteers on delivery centers. Musk also posted a “Don’t Panic” reminder on his Twitter page, almost seemingly teasing that the threat of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s lawsuit would disappear soon. Sure enough, on Saturday, the SEC announced that Elon Musk had agreed to a settlement.
Just hours after his settlement with the SEC was announced, Elon Musk reportedly sent an email to Tesla’s employees stating that the company is incredibly close to hitting profitability. In his email, a copy of which was obtained by Bloomberg, Musk noted that if Tesla “goes all out” on Sunday, there is a good chance that the company could achieve an “epic victory.”
“We are very close to achieving profitability and proving the naysayers wrong, but, to be certain, we must execute really well tomorrow (Sunday). If we go all out tomorrow, we will achieve an epic victory beyond all expectations,” Musk wrote.
Considering Musk’s message, it appears that every single delivery completed this Sunday would contribute to Tesla’s profitability for Q3 2018. Tesla is going all-hands on its deliveries, and boosted by volunteers owners who are orienting newcomers with the features and functions of their electric cars; Tesla appears to be closer to its profitability goals than ever before.
Tesla’s profitability has proven to be among the company’s most elusive targets. Over the years, the company’s profits, or lack thereof, has become one of the most notable pillars of the Tesla bear thesis. Back in April, for one, speculations among the electric car maker’s skeptics suggested that Tesla would need to raise $2.5 to $3 billion this year to stay afloat. It was then that Elon Musk announced on Twitter that Tesla would be profitable and cash flow positive in Q3 and Q4, negating the need to raise more capital. Since then, Tesla has been on a dash to achieve its targets one after another, from the Model 3’s 5,000/week production rate at the end of Q2 to the production and delivery of more than 50,000 Model 3 in Q3.
Tesla’s profitability hinges largely on the Model 3, as it is the vehicle that would comprise most of the company’s deliveries this quarter. Fortunately for Tesla, teardowns and analyses of the car by third-party firms have determined that the electric car maker can make a profit on the Model 3. Sandy Munro of Munro and Associates, for one, noted in an Autoline TV segment that the Model 3 ultimately forced him to “eat crow,” as the vehicle proved to be impressive regardless of his initial reservations about the sedan. Munro, who has decades of experience with vehicles, and who has performed a thorough analysis of other electric cars like the BMW i3 and the Chevy Bolt EV, noted that Tesla could make a decent profit with the Long Range RWD Model 3.
“The Model 3 is profitable. I didn’t think it was gonna happen this way, but the Model 3 is profitable. Over 30%. No electric car is getting 30% net, nobody,” Munro said.