Tesla targets 2,500 Model 3s a week while posting largest quarterly loss

The company hopes it can hit 5,000 Model 3s by the end of the Q2.

The Washington Post via Getty Images

After its CEO launched one of its Roadsters into space yesterday, Tesla posted its largest quarterly loss while simultaneously posting a jump in revenue. Meanwhile, the company is still working towards its earlier goal of producing 5,000 Model 3s a week.

In the fourth quarter ending on December 31st, the company lost $675.35 million dollars. During the same quarter in 2016, the company lost $121.38 million.

But the company was able to grow revenue from $2.85 billion in Q4 2016 to $3.288 billion this past quarter. More than expected by analysts. It also announced that it expected to begin generating "positive quarterly income on a sustained basis" in 2018.

Meanwhile, on the Model 3 production front, the company hopes to hit 2,500 Model 3s per week by the end of the first quarter and plans to be producing 5,000 Model 3s by the end of the second quarter. That should be good news to anyone waiting on reservations.

During a third-quarter call with investors last year, CEO Elon Musk talked about the various levels of Dante's hell the company was in as it tried to ramp up production. During this quarter's call Musk said that the company was in a "deeper level of hell than we expected."

"If we can send a Roadster to the asteroid belt, we can probably solve Model 3 production," Musk mused.

But Tesla did note that making production volume plans can be difficult: "It is important to note that while these are the levels we are focused on hitting and we have plans in place to achieve them, our prior experience on the Model 3 ramp has demonstrated the difficulty of accurately forecasting specific production rates at specific points in time."

On the energy front, in the fourth quarter, it deployed 143MWh of storage products an increase of 45 percent from the same time last year. Its solar panel deployment was down 20 percent from last year. These numbers do not include the batteries installed in Australia which will be recognized in the first quarter of 2018.

For future vehicles, Musk did say that the company is planning on doing some capital investments for the upcoming Model Y crossover. Musk said that like its learning more about manufacturing thanks to the Model 3. "We're pretty excited about how we're designing Model Y," Musk said.

As for the coast-to-coast autonomous drive that was supposed to happen in 2017, Musk said that he missed the mark on that one and said he was too busy focusing on Model 3 production. But said that a coast-to-coast autonomous drive could happen in three to six months and the software to achieve that would be shipped to customers.