2013 has been a good year for Tesla, as the pool of Model S owners has grown considerably -- 19,000 of the cars are currently on the road, and the company's building 550 more every week. While this has led to Tesla turning a profit for the first time and paying off its governmental loans, Elon Musk isn't satisfied to sit back and watch his balance sheet gradually shift from red to black. Expansion, always, and in all ways (albeit carefully and deliberately) is how he goes about his business, and the automaker's most recent letter to shareholders and Musk's statements on its most recent earnings call bear that philosophy out.
While sales in the US and Europe continue to do well, with demand outstripping supply, Tesla's still working to spread its EVs across the globe. We've detailed Musk's plans to get Model S's in the hands of Norwegian and UK citizens, and in fact, Tesla delivered 1,000 cars to Europeans in the last three months. The company has also started taking reservations in China. Eventually, Musk sees the company selling 60 percent of its vehicles in places outside the United States. However, Tesla's not making a big marketing push to sell its cars in Asia or Europe just yet because "it doesn't make sense to amplify demand if we can't deliver to meet it," according to Musk.
What's the holdup on building the cars needed to sate the worldwide thirst for EVs? Battery cell production. But, the auto maker has signed a new deal with Panasonic to increase said production to three times what it is currently. And, Tesla is looking at building its own batteries "some day" in a plant with capacity equal to the current total global production of lithium-ion cells, according to Musk. Of course, that would be a massive investment and construction project, and it's only an idea under consideration, not a concrete plan... for now. Regardless, help is on the way to remove the production bottleneck, even if it won't arrive as soon as would-be Tesla owners would like.
In the meantime, Tesla's got big plans for foreign expansion of its Supercharger networks -- because folks will need to charge all those newly manufactured batteries, after all. Six such stations were opened in Norway in August, and Tesla's plan is to cover half of Germany by March of 2014 -- with full coverage of Deutscheland by the end of the summer. So, in spite of the company posting a loss during its most recent financial quarter, its plans for worldwide domination continue unabated, and you're likely to see more Teslas on the road in the coming year, no matter what part of the world you call home.