Tesla Q2 Shareholder Conference Call Is Downbeat

The Tesla Q2 shareholder conference call on August 5 revealed a smaller than expected loss per share but with risk that the company may miss its delivery forecast of 55,000 units for the year. Tesla reported 11,532 Model S sedans delivered in the 2nd quarter and expects the same amount to be delivered in Q3, thus trimming its guidance from “50,000 to 55,000” units for the year.

Speaking to Business Insider, Matt Argersinger of Motley Fool writes, “It looks like Model X production and supply issues are hindering production confidence for the remainder of the year. They’re expecting the same number of deliveries in Q3 as in Q2, which means they’ll need almost 17,000 deliveries in Q4 just to hit the low end of the range. That’s going to be a tall order, especially if they run into unexpected production issues.”

Model X

One of the biggest questions surrounding the company is when deliveries of the Model X SUV will begin. Officially, the company says it will deliver a “small” number of Model X cars in the 3rd quarter.

The company suggests that some delays getting parts from outside suppliers have slowed down the building of the final validation versions of the Model X. CEO Elon Musk did admit the roll out of the Model X will be “challenging”.

In its Q2 shareholder letter, Tesla states:

“While our equipment installation and final testing of Model X is going well, there are many dependencies that could influence our Q4 production and deliveries. We are still testing the ability of many suppliers to deliver high quality production parts in quantities sufficient to meet our planned production ramp. Since production ramps rapidly late in Q4, a one-week push out of this ramp due to an issue at even a single supplier could reduce Model X production by approximately 800 units for the quarter. Furthermore, since Model S and Model X are produced on the same general assembly line, Model X production challenges could slow Model S production. Simply put, in a choice between a great product or hitting quarterly numbers, we will take the former. To build longterm value, our first priority always has been, and still is, to deliver great cars.”

Looking Ahead

In 2016, Tesla will have the capacity to build approximately 1,000 Model S and 1,000 Model X cars per week. That mix may vary somewhat as the needs of the marketplace dictate. Initially, more Model X units may be produced than Model S, simply because of pent up demand for the SUV. Musk was at pains to explain that actual production is often somewhat less than full capacity.

Musk did not give a precise date for when the next firmware update, which will enable the Auto-Steer and Self-Park systems, will take place. He would only say that it should happen in the next few months.

Tesla Energy

Tesla is expecting to ramp up its production of its PowerWall and PowerPack products in the 4th quarter. The company has approximately a billion dollars worth of orders pending for the PowerWall and expects that business to grow to a few billion dollars per year by 2017.

When asked what proportion of the energy storage business would be for retail customers, the company indicated that its retail business may be higher than expected and perhaps reach as much as 70% of all orders. The company went on to say that utility scale energy storage could eventually make it possible to shut down half of the world’s electricity generating facilities.

Tesla stock was down by as much as 8% in after hours trading.


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