Tesla posts wider losses for 3rd quarter, says figure reflects higher engineering cost for Model S

Tesla Model S

Electric car maker Tesla, posted a much wider net loss for the third quarter when compared with the previous year. The company says that the figure reflects higher engineering costs, and that the Model S sedan is still on schedule. Last year”s third quarter loss came in at $4.6 million. That number swelled this year to $34.9 million. Revenue for the same period fell 31.4 percent to $31.2 million.

The company is expecting to continue to report losses until at least 2012 when it launches the Model S.

During Q3 of 2009, Tesla spent just $1.3 million on R&D. This year, that figure shot up to $26.7 million.

” The near term quarterly profitability is not a particularly meaningful goal because we”re spending on the order of half a billion dollars over the next nine quarters,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in a conference call. “So you can expect to see some fairly significant expenses there. It”s really the only way to execute the business given that we”re going from roughly 600 units a year to roughly 20,000 units a year.”

– By: Stephen Calogera

Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)