Tesla Motor says it’ll be profitable in Q1 after exceeding targets by selling 4,750 Model S vehicles

Tesla Motor says it’ll be profitable in Q1 after exceeding targets by selling 4,750 Model S vehicles ...

Tesla Motors has announced that its Model S vehicles have exceeded its sales target in the first quarter of 2013. The company stated that it delivered more than 4,750 units — 250 more than it forecasted in its shareholder letter issued back in mid-February. Because of this result, the automobile manufacturer said that it is amending its “Q1 guidance to full profitability, both GAAP and non-GAAP.”

Back in February, the company announced that it expected to ship 4,500 Model S cars in Q1 with 20,000 sold in the year. When Tesla released its Q4 2012 earnings, it expected, on an adjusted basis, to be “slightly profitable,” provided that […] noncash option and warrant-related expenses are excluded.

We spoke with Tesla spokesperson Shanna Hendriks who confirmed the news to us. This news is also separate from the company’s big announcement that it will be making this Tuesday.

Elon Musk, Tesla’s co-founder and CEO, said that he’s not only proud of the company’s accomplishments, but that by becoming profitable, it has helped validate its existence: “Tesla is here to stay and keep fighting for the electric car revolution.”

Announcing that its Q1 will be profitable is a bit of a strike back at critics after the negative New York Times review was released claiming that it “fell short of its estimated range” — it definitely appears there is demand for these electric cars.  The question is whether the demand will continue to pick up as time goes on.

The company also announced that its small battery option for the Model S would not enter into production, citing lack of demand by customers. Over 4 percent of its customers have chosen the 40 kWh battery pack, which is a sign Tesla says means customers are voting with their wallet that they want a car that will allow them to travel long distances when needed.

One other thing that it announced was that all of its 60 kWh cars have been and will continue to be built with Supercharger hardware included. It says that while it’s taking a “slight cost risk”, it believes customers will want to buy the Supercharger upgrade and get free long distance travel for life.

Photo credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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