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by Eva Fox November 01, 2019

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Tesla began Q4 with strong growth this month. 

Tesla Q3 Summary

 (graph credit cleantechnica.com)

 

Tesla did a very good job for the third quarter:

  • Revenue: $ 6.3 billion
  • Earnings: $ 342 million ($ 1.91 per share)
  • Model 3 Production: 79,837
  • Model S/X Production: 16,318

The gigafactory in Shanghai is ahead of schedule, it was built in just 10 months. Tesla is also looking to announce the future site of their European Gigafactory with production targeted to start in 2021. Tesla have reached a point of self-funding and will be able to deliver profitable quarters from now on as long as there is no new product launch (i.e. Model Y, Tesla Truck).

These are Tesla’s expectations moving forward:

  • Vehicle Deliveries: Deliveries should increase sequentially and annually, with some expected fluctuations from seasonality. We are highly confident in exceeding 360,000 deliveries this year.
  • Cash Flow: Positive quarterly free cash flow going forward, with possible temporary exceptions, particularly around the launch and ramp of new products. We continue to believe our business has grown to the point of being self-funding.
  • Profitability: Positive GAAP net income going forward, with possible temporary exceptions, particularly around the launch and ramp of new products. Continuous volume growth, capacity expansion, and cash generation remain the main focus.
  • Product: Trial production of Model 3 in Shanghai has begun, ahead of schedule. We are also ahead of schedule to produce Model Y and now expect to launch by summer 2020. We are planning to produce limited volumes of Tesla Semi in 2020 and are hoping to announce soon the location of our European Gigafactory for production in 2021.
Tesla also released some more autopilot safety statistics:
"During Q3, we registered one accident for every 4.34 million miles driven in which drivers had Autopilot engaged. This compares to the national average of one accident for every 0.5 million miles based on NHTSA’s most recent US data."

“America’s Dream Car”

In addition to the successful quarter of Tesla, the company was also marked by a number of international achievements. In Norway, Tesla sales surpassed all gasoline and diesel vehicles combined last month. The same recognition was given in the UK, where Tesla delivered 3,459 units in September.
Autowise found the Tesla Model S to be “America’s Dream Car”. This shows a clear shift in how the public is perceiving Tesla and electric vehicles.

Tesla refresh

There were a lot of rumors. A patent for a new, more efficient, power steering system has been filed. Another patent has showed Tesla’s intent on producing a bezel-less display.

In the current Tesla news, Model X is now being built with a new pair of front seats. Declared to be less cumbersome, these new seats will provide rear passengers with a bit more legroom. They will also offer a new back storage compartment, a feature that has been missing for some time. The automaker seems to be focusing on improving comfort, as we also saw new patents for a new vision for temperature-controlled seats.

With a few battery-related acquisitions such as Hibar Systems and Maxwell Technologies, Tesla is seemingly moving forward with their plans on producing their own battery cells. The electric car automaker recently increased the range of both the Model S and X by three miles.

Tesla chose to rely on their Autopilot camera systems to detect rain. With a bit of training, this could add another industry-leading innovation to Tesla’s resume. Through a system dubbed “Deep Rain”, Tesla looks to create a neural net to constantly improve their wipers as well as adapt Autopilot and FSD conditions to the surrounding weather. In relation, there has been a patent filed by the company for electromagnetic wipers.

Tesla Updates

An software update V10 was recently released. Now the engineers have been tweaking with the car’s firmware and will be pushing out an update that will result in a nominal power increase of about 5%. Some owners have already started to receive the update which not only included the power increase but also ‘Scheduled Departure’ and ‘Automatic Navigation’.

More details about this update here.

Tesla has already adjusted the ranges of both the Model S and Model X. The Long Range Model S now has a range of 373 miles (up from 370) and the Long Range Model X is now 328 miles (up from 325).

Also, this time Elon Musk and Tesla are taking advantage of the new noise-maker legislature that requires electric cars to emit a sound when they travel under a certain speed. Tesla will develop some unconventional noises to emit such as goats and Musk stated that they will consider allowing owners to upload their own sounds.

Full self-driving and autonomy

In the latest Tesla news, Musk states that he believes that FSD will be “feature complete” by the end of the year. During the Q3 Earnings call, he was finally able to explain what his interpretation of “feature-complete” means.

“Yeah, feature-complete, I mean, it’s the car able to drive from one’s house to work, most likely without interventions. So it will still be supervised, but it will be able to drive — it will fill in the gap from low-speed autonomy with Summon. You’ve got high-speed autonomy on the highway, and intermediate speed autonomy, which really just means traffic lights and stop signs.”

“So feature-complete means it’s most likely able to do that without intervention, without human intervention, but it would still be supervised. And I’ve gone through this timeline before several times, but it is often misconstrued that there’s three major levels to autonomy. There’s the car being able to be autonomous, but requiring supervision and intervention at times. That’s feature complete. Then it doesn’t mean like every scenario, everywhere on earth, including ever corner case, it just means most of the time.”

Musk state that he believes that a limited early access release of the feature-complete FSD will make its way to certain owners by the end of the year. After becoming feature-complete, Musk states that there will still be two levels of refinement to go for the system.

“And then, there’s another level which from a Tesla standpoint, we think the car is safe enough to be driven without supervision. Then the third level would be that regulators are also convinced that the car can be driven autonomously without supervision. Those are three different levels.”

Nominations and awards

The Tesla Model 3 has been nominated for the 2019-2020 Japan Car of the Year award.

It will be going against the top gasoline and all-electric cars in Japan. 

According to Car Watch, the Japan Car of the Year Executive Committee will be holding its Japan Car of the Year award for the 40th time this year. Car Watch is part of the media firm, Impress Corporation, which has been publishing news on the internet since 1996. 

The Tesla Model 3 will be competing with 34 other cars for the title, some were made by Japanese manufacturers, and others were built by overseas automakers. All the nominees were announced or released from November 1, 2018 to October 31, 2019. They are all passenger cars which are predicted to sell about 500 units or more annually.

 

The Tesla Model 3 is slated to become China’s top electric vehicle, predicted analysts from China Securities. The Tesla Model 3’s success in the Chinese market could very well define the electric company’s future as a global automaker. So far, the electric automaker’s Gigafactory 3 seems to be running smoothly thanks to China’s government, which appears to be supportive of Tesla as an EV player in the country.
Based on a tweet by Yicai Global, a China-based media outlet, analysts from China Securities seem optimistic about Tesla’s Model 3. The analysts told Yicai Global that the all-electric sedan may be a favorite in China’s electric car market, partly because the local government has started making significant cuts to its NEV subsidies.

The Tesla Model 3 was labeled Car of the Year 2020 by Parkers, a UK website that gives essential car-related advice to people buying and selling vehicles. The Model 3 took home three other honorary titles from Parkers New Car Awards 2020: namely, Best Electric Car, Best Company Car, and Best Safety awards.

According to the Parkers page that lists all the 2020 winners, the Tesla Model 3 is the only car to date that has won multiple awards in different categories in the same year, making its new title as Car of the Year a well-deserved one. It is also the first electric car to win the award, reported The Independent

 

The Tesla Model 3 was Italy’s best selling EV in September. According to Italian EV blog Vai Elettrico, electric vehicle sales increased by 156% from September 2018 to September 2019. Over 1,200 vehicles were registered and Italy saw the market share rise up to 0.9% of the total. 325 Tesla Model 3s in total were sold in September, accounting for 26% of the country’s EV sales.

The Model 3 also has been a best seller in the Netherlands and Norway, where it is the top selling vehicle (of any type). In the US, it has made it to the #9 position among cars (not including trucks and SUVs). In August, the Model 3 was the third best-selling vehicle in the UK.


1 Response

Simon Blackmore
Simon Blackmore

November 04, 2019

Excellent summary.

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