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Tesla CEO talks Model X, Gen 3, new markets

Tesla CEO Elon Musk discussed a variety of topics during the company's second quarter earnings conference call, including the future Model X and a lower priced model.

Brooke Crothers Former CNET contributor
Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.
Brooke Crothers
2 min read
Tesla's Model X SUV is due by the end of 2014, the CEO said Wednesday.
Tesla's Model X SUV is due by the end of 2014, the CEO said Wednesday. Tesla

After Tesla reported better-than-expected earnings Wednesday, its chief executive discussed upcoming models and challenges the young car company faces.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based electric carmaker reported a second-quarter non-GAAP profit of $26 million, or 20 cents a share, beating an expected non-GAAP loss of 17 cents.

That drove the stock price up in after-hours trading to $153 a share, up from Wednesday's $134 closing price.

Revenues were $405 million, beating the average analyst estimate of $383 million.

Tesla announced that it had sold 10,500 Model S sedans in the first six months and is on track to reach a yearly rate of 40,000 by late 2014 as it expands into Europe and Asia.

The 2013 Model S starts at about $70,000.

During the earnings conference call, Tesla Chairman CEO Elon Musk talked about the upcoming Model X SUV, $35,000 Gen 3 car, and challenges as it enters new markets in Europe and China.

Model X (SUV):

We are hard at work on the Model X refining the design. We expect to be in limited [volume] to deliver a small number of units at the end of next year and then volume production would [occur] in 2015.

Model S for new markets:

We have got right hand drive that's coming out in the spring. Then there is the China version and actually there's the European version...There is the Japan right hand drive versions. Also, in Europe, we are actually not trying to push sales very hard because if you order a car in Europe you are going to get it get it in, like maybe, November. So we really again need to improve our production. We need to make sure that the entry of the car into Europe is smooth, that people have a good experience with the car, that all the service centers are there, that the people are well trained.

Gen 3 lower-priced $35,000 model:

I see a fairly clear path to that vehicle. I have high confidence that we can create a compelling [car] for around $35,000, compelling meaning a 200 mile range.

On challenges with suppliers:

I feel like we are actually able to attract...A team on suppliers because whereas previously we had some trouble attracting A team from suppliers because they felt we wouldn't be around long-term and we have that issue where [there were predictions] that Tesla would only ever sell 3,000 cars lifetime of the Model S. Then we sold that in, basically, the first quarter of production.

On BMW's electric car:

Well, I am glad to see that BMW is bringing electric car to market. That's cool. I think there is room to improve on the i3 and I hope that they do...I really do encourage other manufacturers bringing electric cars in the market because this is a good thing...that's what's going to result in humanity achieving a sustainable transport future. I wish it was going faster than it is.

[Via Seeking Alpha]