Canadian Manufacturing

Tesla shuffles leadership, maintains ambitious 2015 sales target

Automaker bringing on new CFO, says Gigafactory construction ahead of schedule



Tesla has filed with the SEC to offer 2.1 million shares. PHOTO: Tesla Motors Inc.

Tesla has released its third-quarter results as well as its outlook for the rest of 2016 and beyond. PHOTO: Tesla Motors Inc.


PALO ALTO, Calif—Tesla Motors still thinks it can sell more than 50,000 vehicles this year. Between the Model S and new Model X, the company delivered a record 11,603 vehicles in the third quarter, bringing its total for the year to 33,180. The sales tally leaves Tesla only three months to deliver nearly 17,000 vehicles, significantly more than it has ever shipped before.

Nevertheless, the company seems confident it can rise to the occasion.

“In Q4, we plan to build 15,000 to 17,000 vehicles, and deliver 17,000 to 19,000 vehicles, which will result in 50,000 to 52,000 total deliveries for the year,” Tesla said.

The company had initially hoped to deliver 55,000 vehicles in 2015, but was forced to scale that estimate back to 50,000 earlier this year. Now, Tesla said the main limiting factor in achieving ramped up production and shipments is the availability of Model X components.

“Some of our other Model X suppliers, are still ramping up and fine-tuning production. These factors add uncertainty to our build plans during Q4, but we feel emphasizing quality is the right decision for our customers,” the company said.

As the Tesla production line races investor sentiment to its fiscal year end, the company has also announced major changes close to the top of its corporate structure. The company said former vice-president of finance for Google Inc., Jason Wheeler, will take over as Tesla’s CFO. He will replace Deepak Ahuja, who had said he would retire from the automaker earlier this year.

“What the Tesla team has achieved in building compelling alternatives in transport and energy is simply incredible. I am so excited to join an amazing team dedicated to such a broad and inspiring mission. Looking forward to jumping into the fast lane,” Wheeler said.

Meanwhile, the company is also bringing on Jon McNeill, the former CEO of Enservio, as its president of Global Sales and Service.

In its quarterly shareholder update, Tesla also noted the construction and production at its Gigafactory are ahead of schedule. The company started production at the Fremont, Calif. factory in the third quarter and has since accelerated plans to expand the plant’s manufacturing capacity in wake of mounting demand for its energy products.

Tesla also confirmed it is on track to unveil its economy option, the Model 3, in late March of next year.

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