Tesla's losses grow on Model 3 delays

SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch captured imaginations – and that was just a test

SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch captured imaginations – and that was just a test

The last photo of "Starman" in Elon Musk's red Tesla Roadster as it flies toward Mars orbit. This latest one, with the Earth in the rearview mirror of his convertible is sure to get a lot of love, too.

The publication of the fourth quarter results coincided with Tuesday's successful launch of the Falcon Heavy rocket, sent into space by SpaceX, Musk's private rocket company. It's now on its way to the asteroid belt that rings the very edges of our neighbourhood, Mr Musk said.

"Of course, anything boring is bad, especially companies, so we chose to send something unusual, something that made us feel", the technological visionary explained. The company continues to burn cash at a furious rate with annual losses ramping up from $773 million in 2016 to $2.2 billion this past year, much of it for expanding Model 3 and Gigafactory 1 production capacity. It's almost four times the payload of Boeing and Lockheed's workhorse Atlas V 551, and more than Russia's Proton M rocket, China's LM3B, or Airbus's (NASDAQOTH:EADSY) Ariane 5 can carry as well. But he also said the company had learned many invaluable lessons from the troubles, and made major strides in efficiencies along the production lines.

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Space operations, while small as a proportion of Boeing's, Lockheed's, and Airbus's overall businesses, are incredibly lucrative for all of these companies, with ULA for example earning as much as $400 million in a typical year.

Only in the 4th quarter, Tesla set cars 29 967 28 425 Model S and Model X. "This is the year when we believe we can achieve true cost parity" with internal combustion engine vehicle production, "something that many believe is not yet possible". At one point Tesla had more than 500,000 customers on a waiting list for the Model 3. The package requires Tesla, which is worth a little less than $60 billion now, to grow in $50 billion leaps to a staggering $650 billion market capitalization over the next decade.

"2018 will be a transformative year for Tesla", Musk wrote in a letter to shareholders. That's just 3% of Musk's original plan of rolling out 20,000 Model 3s per month by the end of 2017. "I expect to remain CEO for the foreseeable future", he said. It's also on the hook to build charging stations for its network of semi trucks. Late previous year, UPS placed an order for 125 Tesla Semis, while PepsiCo reserved 100 and Anheuser Busch reserved 40.

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