WASHINGTON – Tesla, the luxury electric car manufacturer, said Wednesday that in 2018 it lost $976 million, 50 percent less than in 2017, after earning $139.5 million in the last quarter of the year.
The last three months of 2018 were the second consecutive quarter in which Tesla registered profits, having earned $311.5 million between July and September.
The company reported revenues of $21.4 billion an increase of 82.5 percent over the previous year.
Of this figure, $18.5 billion comes from the automotive sector, 1.5 billion from electricity storage and energy generation and 1.3 billion from services and other.
Tesla said in a statement that 2018 was “the most pivotal year” in the company’s history and that the improvement of results is due to the “success” of Model 3, the company’s new vehicle.
“As we improve the production rate of Model 3, the cost per vehicle continues to decline. It is critical that we continue this trend so that we can keep increasing the affordability of Model 3 while retaining a sustainable level of profitability,” the company said.
In the fourth quarter of 2018, Tesla delivered 63,359 Model 3 units in North America. In addition, the company delivered 27,607 units of Model S and Model X, the other two Tesla models.
For the whole year, the deliveries of Model S and Model X amounted to 99,475 vehicles. Tesla did not offer annual figures for the Model 3, but it did say that the company has sold almost 140,000 units of the Model 3.
The founder of the company, Elon Musk, announced on Jan. 18 that Tesla will cut 7 percent of its workforce in the face of difficulties to produce the cheaper variants of its Model 3 and achieve “economies of scale” in its manufacture.
In addition to the reduction of 7 percent of Tesla’s workforce, around 3,000 people, the founder of the company warned in an email sent to his workers that the company will also be forced to “retain only the most critical temps and contractors.”