Tesla Q4 Conference Call: Will The Good Times Continue To Roll?

JAN 30 2019 BY VANJA KLJAIC 57

Retail investors get some questions answered.

In a lot of ways, 2018 was a rollercoaster ride for Tesla. Everything from production hell, delivery issues, taking not taking the company private melodrama, issues with Solar City and rumors about the Model Y were part of the previous 12 months. For Tesla, it was also a record year. For Q3, the U.S based carmaker made 83,500 deliveries: 55,840 Model 3, 14,470 Model S, and 13,190 Model X. To put this in perspective, in the Q3 alone Tesla delivered more than 80% of the vehicles than it did in all of 2017.  To put things into further perspective, Tesla also delivered about twice as many Model 3 sedans as we did in all previous quarters combined.

With deliveries ramping up, orders flowing in, Tesla share prices rose and fell significantly on several occasions. Furthermore, the increased deliveries of the Model 3, combined with the additional incentives the company made before their tax break set in, all made sure that Q4 would well be the best quarter in the history of the company. Throughout the later stages of 2018, it seemed Tesla was making strides in joining other legacy automakers as a fully-fledged peer.

The production hell is a long gone thing of the past, delivery hell is steadily falling off, and deliveries & sales are ever increasing and stabilizing. As always, after the letter to investors showcasing the company’s progress and detailing the financials went out, Musk and other top executives held a call with financial analysts. Here are the most important bits and pieces from the earnings call right below.

  • The Q4 earnings call started with Martin Viega making the introduction towards the earnings call, giving us a short rundown of the nature of the call
  • Elon Musk revealed how last year was the most challenging, but also, the most successful for the company. And a lot of this is attributed to the Tesla Model 3. Musk noted in his opening statement how the Model 3 captured an 85% market share in the United States, where all the other electric vehicles amounted to just 20% market share overall. He also revealed how Tesla doubled their fleet in 2018, producing more than double of what the company produced in all the other years before this
  • Musk expects sales to be about 50% higher in 2019 than 2018 – if there’s no global recession. And even with tough economic times, seeing a 50% growth is really impressive. He notes how Tesla is expecting a record-breaking year, with growth seldom seen within any industry, let alone the automotive one. Furthermore, Musk also notes how they are strengthening their logistics – all due to the pending penetration of Europe and China, especially with the Model 3
  • An impressive increase in service locations, mobile service vehicles and the improvement of the customer service was one of the staples of the Q4 for the company. One of the items he noted is the ability of the customer to use the Tesla App to summon the service crew, allowing them to request the Tesla servicemen to pick up the vehicle, take it to a service centre and have it repaired there. This allows the customer to repair the vehicle without getting it to the service centre themselves, seriously improving the satisfaction from the customers. Elon Musk took time to explain how the recently (four weeks earlier) rolled out service option works, as he is seemingly very happy about the improvement in the customer relations department overall. One of the ideas for smaller issues is to have the vehicle repaired in 20 minutes or so, in order to avoid the bad customer satisfaction. Tesla also plans to stock the most warranted parts (probably based on previous experiences) and allow the fast turnaround times. This basically means that if you have a car with a
  • The Tesla CEO is very optimistic about the Q1, but also, regarding all quarters going forward. He noted how the operating margin has been increased to that of over 5%, or to be exact (as revealed in the investor letter), to 5.7% and the operating cash flow less CapEx improved from Q3 to $910M in Q4. Furthermore, the Model 3 GAAP and non-GAAP gross margin remained stable at >20% in the same quarter as well
  • Model Y crossover is coming. Musk noted how 60% of the parts for the Model 3 and Model Y are interchangeable, which will definitely improve their production and delivery rates ones the vehicle comes around. Musk revealed how Tesla aim to produce the Model Y at the Nevada Gigafactory 1 production facility, hitting volume production “likely” sometime next year. He notes how the SUV segment is the highest growth in the industry, and the company aims to take a big chunk of this segment with the Model Y – once it comes out
  • Elon Musk noted how the Model S and Model X didn’t share a lot of commonalities, just 30% parts interchangeable. He called the Model X the “Faberge Egg” of the vehicle world, noting all the advanced features the vehicles showcases. Furthermore, he once again noted how  the Model Y and Model 3 are more mass market vehicles, where a lot of the parts will be easily interchanged between these two vehicles
  • The Shanghai notes how they want to build several of the parts for the Model 3 at the Gigafactory over there, helping them hit the 10,000 units produced per week
  • When asked by a listener about the overall market volume for the Model 3, Musk says that the Model 3 demand – in a strong economy – is about 600,000 – 800,000 units per year. With a weaker economy, Musk states that the company still looks at around 500,000 units per year for the Model 3 as a reasonable amount
  • For the Model S and Model X, he states he expects to see a slight decline in overall vehicles sold, but the cash flow from both is expected to be similar to the current levels experienced by the company. It seems the aim is to make/sell fewer cars, but provide more options and amenities to the customers, increasing the margins and income for the company overall
  • When asked about the advanced Summon feature, he notes how the feature will probably be available – depending on the regulators – by the end of the year, with most features dependant on that approval in various markets. He noted how they aim to make the feature completely safe before being rolled out to the public as well, something we feel is the most important aspect of the regulatory approval
  • They have no plans to switch the Model S and X to 2170
  • When asked when the Tesla Semi and Pickup are to be produced, the Tesla CEO responded that they aim to first use the Semi for their own services. While he didn’t reveal an exact date, from the words Musk spoke, we might think that date might arrive rather soon, with deliveries to bigger customers coming soon after. The Tesla Pickup, on the other hand, labelled by Musk as “something unique” is set to be revealed this summer. We’re pretty sure that will make a lot of people that need a fully electric workhorse, rather happy about that.
  • When asked by autonomous vehicles, Musk noted how Tesla has the biggest test fleet out there. And this is increasing by the day, giving them a large load of data. He noted how 12 months down the line, they will have over 1,000,000 vehicles on the road. And every time the customers drive their vehicles, more data & information is being collected. And according to Musk, that makes Tesla the company with the most firepower under the hood in the autonomous vehicle race
  • When asked about the market share of the entry-level sedans (like the Model 3) in “other markets” – which basically mean RHD (Right Hand Drive) vehicle models, slated for countries that drive on the left – Musk noted how their expectation is a volume of about 500,000 vehicles for those markets (didn’t clearly differentiate per year or overall)
  • When asked about the slow down of demand for the mid-range Model 3, he revealed that there’s a lot of seasonality with the car buying public. Musk expects the demand to pick up in March, April and May, even with the loss of the tax credit. Furthermore, he noted how the customers are extremely happy with the Model 3 and the demand is still strong, propping his argument with the fact that most Model 3 owners aren’t willing to part ways, and sell their Model 3s at all! His guess is that the average price of the Model 3 at the level of 800,000 vehicle market will be at around $42,000
  • When asked about the China factory and the issue with the battery suppliers in China, Musk revealed they will be making the batteries themselves where they can use any 2170 cell chemistry – which is produced in Nevada, Japan and also, China. He sees no problem in hitting the targetted volume number for the China production facility regarding a possible battery related bottleneck discussed here
  • When asked by a Deutsche Bank representative about the margins on the Model 3, and hitting the 20% margins even with the introduction of the standard range Model 3, he noted how the company plans to hit that number somewhere in the year. He notes how the company is getting smarter in how they are spending money, so the cautious outlook by investors might not be warranted, especially about this item. The labour hours per Model 3 vehicle declined yet again by roughly 20% compared to Q3 and by about 65% in the second half of 2018 alone
  • In order to meet the 500,000 mark for the Model 3 per the year, the company needs to put the Shanghai factory online. Musk noted how Tesla, regarding China, as their biggest market, they were never eligible for the local tax breaks or EV incentives. He notes how they need the Shanghai factory to achieve the 10,000 mark for the Model 3 per week, which will help them to make the Model 3 more affordable in the long run. From what we hear, Musk is really keen on bringing their entry-level vehicle to the customers that might not have the money to buy right now, meaning that cutting production costs will help them push the cheaper version of the Model 3 to the market a lot faster overall
  • Musk wants to make the Model 3 better, even despite the aim of cutting costs for the vehicle. He basically wants to make the production of the Model 3 sustainable, but also, bring an affordable, rather well-built, environmentally friendly vehicle to the market. Something, if we’re being honest here, really was the goal with the Model 3 from the start
  • When asked by David Tambourino from Goldman Sachs about the order profile in Europe and China, regarding the Model 3, Musk replied that the order profile looks really good. According to Musk, demand is not an issue. It’s how they are going to get the cars there. According to the call, the volume for Europe is around 20,000 and in single thousands for China. Musk also noted how the factory is now only making vehicles for Europe and China, aiming to get as much Model 3s to customers as fast as possible. Furthermore, they are racing to deliver as many vehicles to China before any bigger changes in the trade war between the United States and China, where once again, he notes that demand is not the issue
  • When asked about the $35,000 entry-level Model 3, the reservations and other items, Tesla representative responded rather vaguely. However, Musk took the mic and responded how the reservations are considered as preorders, where he believes that they still expect around half a million of the entry-level Model 3 to be ordered/reserved even after all of these vehicles get delivered
  • Elon Musk, while replying to a caller question, responded how the company is aiming to simplify the build process, pushing vehicles faster in North America, all the while cutting costs for the production and delivery process
  • When asked about China, Elon noted how he plans on doing several trips to China this year. He values the Chinese production plant and the Gigafactory being built there really a lot, where he also commended the support of the local Shanghai and Chinese government officials as well
  • When asked about the rollout of the mid-range and standard-range Model 3, and what will be the tradeoff when delivering these vehicles, whether the company will deliver more vehicles in terms of volume, or concentrate more on selling and producing better margin vehicles, Musk noted how this will (pretty logically) be a mixture of both, resulting in satisfying both worlds
  • When asked about a potential U.S. lease product, Elon Musk replied how the company is reluctant to provide leasing for the Model 3, but the company might introduce it to improve demand. However, leasing is not something they want to introduce right away, as that might hurt their financial outlook. In the end, Musk noted how they plan on introducing the leasing option for the Model 3 somewhere later in the year
  • Musk revealed how the company is solving a lot of logistical problems they’re having, where the ultimate goal is, once again, to cut cost and speed up the production and delivery of vehicles
  • Elon Musk notes how their aim is to make affordable cars, and how Tesla, even if the recession hits, will come out stronger once it ends
  • For a closing remark, Elon noted how Deepak Ahuja, the Tesla CFO, is retiring (again) from Tesla. Elon thanked him for his services and noted how his former CFO will be held within an advisory role with Tesla for years to come. Zach Kirkhorn, the current Vice President of Tesla, will be taking over Deepak’s role within the company as the Chief Financial Officer going forward. When addressing the investors during the call, Deepak thanked everyone who made sure that the cashflow issues were resolved, that Tesla has a great financial foundation, and noted how Zach is a great choice to continue having Tesla as such a successful company in the following years. Zach noted how the company has enough cash reserves to continue with the research and production, but also, continue with the momentum in every aspect from cutting costs, vehicle deliveries and the expansion of the company

DISCLAIMER: This article and updates are being done on the fly during the Q4 earnings call, so we apologize for any errors or wrong information revealed. Please allow us to clear these points with Tesla, before taking them as fact. The author or IEVs cannot be held responsible for any errors or damages arising from the information revealed here. We advise you to clarify any of the points within your interest with Tesla before making any personal or business decisions.

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57 Comments on "Tesla Q4 Conference Call: Will The Good Times Continue To Roll?"

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Is it just me, or have they been dodging real answers to question about specifics even more than usual?… There are a few major topics that stood out throughout the call. Two things they have been stressing again and again at various points, are focusing on cost cutting / financial discipline, as well as repeated claims that demand for Model 3 is not an issue. Regarding the notes, as per usual a bunch of corrections and additions: * The remark about market share in the US was for Tesla in general, not just Model 3. (And it was obviously 80%, not 85% — when all others combined were 20%…) In case it isn’t obvious, he was talking about BEVs only. (There is a nice chart in the shareholder letter.) * They produced about as many cars in 2018 as in all previous years — not double that… * They also point out that Tesla has in fact seen this kind of exponential growth for a long time. * They actually mentioned 50% growth for 2019 as the *worst case* (not best case) — if there is no recession, it could be a lot more. * Service improvement in North America… Read more »

Thankyou very much, antrik, for this excellent and detailed summary.

I was disappointed about the statement that Models S & X are to remain with 18650 cells, but this now puts it more in perspective. Simply there is not much advantage to change and 2170 production is maxed out for Model 3 and Storage. They need any increase in 2170 cell production to go to storage as there is huge demand there, and huge potential for much higher profits in the future.

I second your thanks to Antrik for sharing his excellent notes.

Energy storage is growing fast, but it’s only a few percent of GF production. That had no bearing on the S/X decision to stick with 18650s. Panasonic must be moving the 18650 equipment from Japan to Nevada. It’s fully paid for by now, and still works fine, so why throw those machines away and buy new 2170 machines?

I’ve been pondering that a while back, but it really doesn’t seem plausible to me. Aside from the enormous cost of dismantling, shipping, reassembling, and adjusting everything, it would also disrupt production for months. Unless they have secretly hoarded a huge pile of finished cells, I don’t see how they could manage that.

Also, I’m pretty sure the majority of machines can be either reused directly for the new cell format, or retooled easily.

I wouldn’t be surprised if they retool them to produce cells for Shanghai (Japan was mentioned as one source on the earnings call) — assuming of course they manage to get approved for subsidies…

Panasonic invested about 1.6 billion in machines at GF1 for roughly 20 GWh of capacity. They make about 8 GWh/year of 18650s, so they’d need to invest another 650 million or so in new machines to handle S/X. Dismantling and shipping isn’t THAT expensive. These lines are very modular, so they can do one line at a time and minimize disruption. Q1 is slow, anyway, and Tesla just cut S/X production hours. Sounds like they eliminated an entire shift, so they don’t need nearly as many batteries right now.

I was surprised he said Shanghai might source cells from Japan. Might just be a negotiating ploy. We’ll see. It seems Panasonic is putting their factories into the Toyota JV. We’re not talking about many cells, though, so anything is possible.

An opinion piece I read was that it would cost too much to abandon the 18650 S/X assembly equipment…There’s also speculation that the Semi and the Roadster have a new cell (wishful thinking that its cobalt free) and if that’s true it doesn’t make sense to convert over…

Entirely (or almost entirely) cobalt-free cells are still years away AIUI — the next step is supposed to be another halving of the current contents.

Regarding Semi, there was word that it would use NMC cells. I don’t remember whether that was just rumour, or actually someone from Tesla said that — but it certainly seems plausible, considering that the Semi needs to withstand ~2,000 cycles to achieve the promised 1,000,000 miles of operation…

Regarding new Roadster, Elon explicitly mentioned that they are hoping to use newer cells with 10%, maybe 20% higher density — but what kind of cells, we have no idea.

Either way, these are very likely to all be 21700 cells, with variations only in chemistry (and other internal details) — so that shouldn’t be a deterrent to switching to the new format ASAP…

If this site had a Golden Plug Award for best post of the year, I’d nominate antrik’s one above. Outstanding work.

Hey Antrik! Very nice work. We are getting into the process of listening to the call again and writing stories and making updates. You have done some incredible work here. We have pinned this comment for now. However, can we add it to the article or even create an update article and attribute it to you?

Glad to hear people find it useful 🙂 I was frankly wondering whether it was worthwhile staying up all night…

Feel free to use it, if you are still interested. I should warn you though that going by various quotes I have seen around the net, there seem to be a few details I got wrong myself. (The claimed market share figure for example was apparently neither 85% nor 80%, but actually 83%?…) Also note that someone has actually made a complete transcript (haven’t checked how faithful it is): https://seekingalpha.com/article/4236911-tesla-inc-tsla-ceo-elon-musk-q4-2018-results-earnings-call-transcript?part=single

Thank you, sir.

[giggle] Do you have a moderation filter for SeekingAlpha links? I can’t say I’m surprised 😉

Thanks for a lot of hard work that clears up a lot of eyebrow raisers in the article.

Another Euro point of view

I see that Elon Musk is himself again, some were a bit worried after the letter he sent to employees earlier this year.

The only thing that concerns me is his driving.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6yd0w23Xkl0

The good thing about the Y is that various problems seen in the Model 3 will be avoided. Such as frozen door handles, charging ports. Test more in polar vortex conditions. I mean the cars are great, but not everyplace has a So Cal climate. Heck maybe they will even add a Heads Up display, one can dream, can’t one.

“not everyplace has a So Cal climate” – Including Tesla’s design center, Tesla’s Gigafactory and Tesla’s production facility, which are all in Northern CA or Nevada.

I hope it was sarcasm 🙂

IMHO, there is Dry cold and there is Wet Cold and from experience, the latter is far worse than the former.
Typically, Dry Cold happens in the middle of a continent and Wet Cold is more coastal except when you are close to Antartica. That is a totally cold continent and generates its own weather.
A lot of issues with buildings only happen in Wet Cold conditions. The constant freeze/thaw/freeze can crack even the toughest concrete.
My partner originates from Siberia and finds the cold we get in the UK (at most -10C) worse than the -40C she had at home for months on end.

Cars and indeed all vehicles need to be tested in BOTH sorts of cold climate. It may well have been possible to eliminate the frozen door handles etc before production started.

Exactly the same thing was assumed when Model 3 was announced. Tesla will not repeat Model X problems….

They didn’t… It was entirely new problems 😉

LOL! Yes, an entirely new set.

Still, I expect far less serious problems getting the TMY into production, now that Elon has been brought down to Earth… well, closer to Earth than Mars, anyway 😉 …regarding his fantasies about touchless auto assembly lines moving 5x or even 10x as fast as those at other auto assembly plants, with robots moving at eye-blurring speed.

75% similar to M3 will benefit ramping up volumes and agreed, 75% reductions of problems that might have come from an entirely new model. I especially liked the comments how the growth will continue at this pace for years to come! Model Y will be our first EV I think, so that gives them more time to improve the product for northern conditions too here in Calgary, Alberta.

“Tesla also delivered about twice as many Model 3 sedans as we did in all previous quarters combined.”

We? Who is “we”?

It was a live update while listening to the terrible connection and typing the info as fast as possible to get the details out. I’m sure there are some wording issues here and there. There’s no time to go back and correct as the call keeps going and going. Also, sometimes as you’re listening, the dialogue (being that it is live and conversational) isn’t grammatically correct. Elon could have easily said “we” when he was referring to Tesla (and himself). Or not. The point is still there.

I don’t know how the official webcast works; but I follow the calls through the retransmission on Youtube (by Ben Sullins), which makes it easy to pause or skip back. That means that at the end of the call I was half an hour behind the live stream, but ended up with detailed (and hopefully mostly correct) notes.

got it. Saw your disclaimer at the bottom after I had already posted. Thanks!

I’m glad there going to build the Model 3 in China before the Model Y

I am a bit dissapointed, no plans for 2170 cells in Model S/X, that means no improved cooling system, no >100kWh batteries, no track mode and no ~400 mile range vehicles. The other automakers are catching up(we now have more options with 90-100kWh battery, 100kW+ charging speed, and long-distance charging networks)
Did they say anything about Supercharger V3?

Nope, nothing about Supercharger v3. (It was a fairly popular question from retail investors, but ended up just below the cut…)

Regarding no plans for 21700 for Model S/X, that’s what they have been saying for quite some time… It’s just, nobody really believes that 😉

I can certainly believe that Tesla (and Elon) don’t want to invoke the Osborne Effect by announcing major changes to the MS and/or MX too far in advance. Not even on a conference call with investors.

Put it this way: Do you really think Tesla will continue, on a long-term basis, selling only one size of battery pack in the MS/MX, using software limitation to simulate a smaller size sold at a discount? Sure looks like a transitional phase to me!

Yes, even the MR came out of nowhere. Battery size changes have rarely been telegraphed ahead of time for the S and X either. They usually just show up as a new ordering option on their website when they are done with development are are ready to start immediate sales/orders.

Yep. Osbourne Effect needs to be avoided…

V3 Supercharger was mentioned in the report.

2170s don’t really offer any advantage, except fewer connections to deal with during assembly.

I expect new pack designs for S/X, with a ~85 kWh pack that gives 300 miles in the S and a 115 or so that gives 400 miles. Maybe 800v, but not 350 kW charging. They’ll argue longer range is more important.

That’s not actually true (again…), a recent tear down by electric vehicle expert Jack Rickard “found that the improvements Tesla made with Model 3’s battery were not only made at the cellular level, but even more impressively at the pack level. The improved design of the Model 3 pack translates to an improved energy density at the pack level, from 126.7 Wh/kg in the Model S to 159.5 Wh/kg in the Model 3”.

Well, arguably the same design should be possible with (maybe slightly adapted) 18650 cells as well… Though it would still be *slightly* less efficient than larger cells; and frankly, I see no reason why they would want to sink resources into a new pack design for the old cell format…

Model 3 pack is lighter because it’s not structural (e.g. no side rails). Munro criticizes this, but I figure Tesla knows what it’s doing.

There is a bunch of other advantages, including cheaper cell production, and some minor gains in packaging. Though I would assume the flexibility and simplicity of having a single cell format / module architecture for all products should actually be the biggest advantage…

There are also disadvantages, e.g. heat dissipation.

Panasonic says they will transfer S/X cell production to the US by end of Q1. Musk says “no plans” to convert S/X to 2170. Unless someone is lying, they’ll make 18650s in the US.

My guess is that, eventually, they will phase out the 18650s (it seems they are still playing out the string on the equipment – once it no longer pays to use them, my guess is that they’ll switch over to 2170s and the corresponding improved pack design in a new generation of S/X). It is my understanding that the Semi and new Roadster are using the 2170s and thermal innovations of the Model 3 pack, so it would seem strange that they would keep going with the 18650s for the long-term, even though the S/X are lower-volume.

So, leasing is coming.
That should also blow up demand for the higher end models.

They were saying for a while that it will likely come this year…

They mentioned though that leas percentages for Model S/X are only in the low 20s, though — so I guess it’s not as big a demand lever as some people thought?…

They mentioned that leasing is done more to please customers who need lease arrangements for business purposes. They did not think leasing was necessary to keep demand up. Maybe with a recession it would be more necessary, but they don’t like how it reflects in financial GAAP reporting.

3rd party leasing no longer affects GAAP reporting, but direct leasing still does. It actually improves margins, but reduces auto revenue

20% leasing rate for S/X must include 3rd party, since direct leasing is usually around 10%.

It’s more profitable to any automaker to sell cars than lease cars.

It depends on how you measure the profit. The reality is that leasing is an ADDITIONAL profit stream on top of the sale of the car itself. That’s why 3rd party companies offer leases. They (and Tesla) can make additional money off the interest buried in the lease terms, and on resale values beating lease “depreciation”.

The problem is that the profit isn’t fully realized until the end of the lease and after the returned car is sold. If you measure by the quarter (GAAP accounting numbers) then it looks like a loss for years and years. Especially if the dollar value of the leases keeps growing YOY.

But over the long term, the additional revenue stream from the leases can add up to even more profits per vehicle. This is one of the adjustments that non-GAAP accounting numbers will show, and better inform investors on what the true trajectory of earnings are over the long term.

Does Tesla actually account leases differently in their non-GAAP figures? I don’t remember seeing anything on the balance sheet suggesting that…

Antrik – A lot has changed with lease accounting. They used to sell a lot of cars with Resale Value Guarantees, both to end customers as well as 3rd party leasing companies. GAAP forced them to treat these as leases, even though title transferred at time of sale, because of the obligation to buy the car back for a set price. That was a real mess, so Tesla would show non-GAAP revenues that counted these deals as sales. The SEC made them stop that.

In the years since they mostly stopped doing RVG deals. They also changed their treatment of RVG deals on 1/1/18 so they now count as “sales with right of return” under GAAP. So the whole issue is mostly moot, except for bleed-off of some older deals.

As far as I know, Tesla always treated direct leases the same and never reported non-GAAP numbers for direct leasing.

“The problem is that the profit isn’t fully realized until the end of the lease and after the returned car is sold.” Almost right. The profit is fully realized by the end of the lease, but before the returned car is sold. “If you measure by the quarter (GAAP accounting numbers) then it looks like a loss for years and years. ” No. Leased cars produce a GAAP profit every quarter. In fact, Tesla shows higher GAAP margins for leased cars than the cars they sell. For example, consider a 100k MSRP Model S with 76k build cost leased for 3 years at $1250/month ($45k total payments). Assume a 55k residual to make the math easier: Sale: 100k – 76k = 24k gross profit, 24% gross margin Lease: Tesla recognizes 3*1250 = 3750 revenue each quarter. Their cost of leasing is depreciation from the 76k original cost to the 55k residual, or: 21000/12 quarters = 1750/quarter 3750 revenue – 1750 cost = 2000 gross profit and 53% gross margin. 53% > 24% When the lease is done, Tesla sells the returned car which still carries a cost of 55,000. If they sell it for 55k they recognize 55k revenue and… Read more »

In the conference call they talked about if Alphabet spun off Waymo that analysts said Waymo would be valued at 150 billion.
Musk said that Tesla autonomous driving software has more than 95% data than all other companies combined.
There already at about 98.9% but they need to get to 99.9999% and expect to be their by the end of the year.
It will still have to be approved then by regulator bodies.
Tesla is much more than just a car company.

Musk days a lot of things. He said they already have FSD on highways. Think he’d volunteer to nap in the back seat at 70 mph?

I’m not sure why everyone is getting worked up over that. The call just confirmed what I have been suspecting for a while, since Elon used that weird “encompass all modes of driving” wording a while back: when he is talking about “full self-driving”, he doesn’t actually mean driver-less — he just means that the system can in principle work everywhere, while a driver will still have to supervise it for the time being.

Exactly. Full Self Driving means has a completely different meaning in Muskspeak, and the idea of Tesla robotaxis is a blue-sky “what if” scenario instead of an actual business plan.