According to the Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk last year was the most pivotal year in Tesla’s history. Mr Musk commented the year in the shareholder letter conserning 2018 and Q4 figures.

– During our Model 3 production ramp, we went through significant challenges with the battery module line at Gigafactory 1 in Nevada, and later with our general
assembly line in Fremont. Thanks to the hard work and ingenuity of our
manufacturing teams, by mid-2018 we successfully overcame these
challenges and stabilized Model 3 production at high volumes, he said on Wednesday.

Tesla´s  Q4 figures:

– Q4 operating income stable compared to Q3 at $414M, operating margin of 5.7%
– Operating cash flow less capex improved from Q3 to $910M in Q4
– Cash and cash equivalents of $3.7B at Q4-end, increased by $718M in Q4
– Q4 GAAP net income of $139M impacted by $54M non-cash charge
– Model 3 GAAP and non-GAAP gross margin remained stable at >20% in Q4

Elon made his estimates of the Model 3 production this year and commented the production shift.

– Model 3’s production rate progressively improved through Q4, with December 2018 being our highest volume month ever. In our Fremont facility, we are now past the steep portion of the production S-curve, and we expect our production rate to continue to
gradually improve. Every part of the Model 3 production process has demonstrated over a 24-hour period the ability to produce at an extrapolated rate of 7,000 vehicles per week. By the end of this year, we expect to be able to produce Model 3 at this rate on a
sustained basis, he stated.

– In Q4, we delivered 27,607 Model S and Model X vehicles to customers. For the full year, we delivered 99,475 Model S and Model X vehicles, which was in line with our guidance. We recently stopped taking orders for the 75 kWh versions of Model S and Model X and
will focus on the longer-range versions of these flagship products instead, with the recent introduction of a 310 mile range base Model S and 270 mile range base Model X, he reminded.

– In total, we are expecting to deliver 360,000 to 400,000 vehicles in 2019, representing a growth of approximately 45% to 65% compared to 2018. In this range, we are expecting to have positive GAAP net income and to generate positive free cash flow
(operating cash flow less capex) in every quarter beyond Q1 2019. We believe these results will be substantially driven by our restructuring action and the ongoing financial discipline with which we are managing the business, Elon said.

– Our 2019 capex, the vast majority of which will be to grow our capacity and develop new vehicles, is expected to be about $2.5 billion. We believe this amount should be sufficient to continue to develop our main projects, such as Gigafactory Shanghai, Model Y and Tesla Semi, as well as for the further expansion of our Supercharger, service and retail networks. We expect to arrange financing through local banks in China to fund most of the capex for Gigafactory Shanghai, he said.

Tesla published its figures after the Wall Street trading, but the company shares closed higher to 302 dollars, up 3,80 %.

 

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