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Will Tesla be profitable in Q3 2018?

Elon Musk's Tesla company has already arguably revolutionized the auto industry.

The renegade billionaire hopes to blaze a path to the future. As Wait But Why's Tim Urban explained in an epic blog post nearly 3 years ago--based on extensive interviews with Musk:

The overarching mission wasn’t to build the biggest car company in the world. It was to solve a bunch of long-standing EV shortcomings and build such an insanely great car that it could change everyone’s perception of what an EV could be and force the world’s big car companies to have to develop their own line of great EVs. Their end goal, and the company’s official mission, was “to accelerate the advent of sustainable transport by bringing compelling mass market electric cars to market as soon as possible.” In other words, EVs are gonna happen, but we’re gonna make them happen a lot sooner. Sooner, in this case, is important, because it means carbon emissions decrease earlier and the long term effects of them are much less damaging.

Since that time, a lot has happened in the world of EVs.

  • Tesla built and launched its Gigafactory to create next gen batteries at scale.
  • Many conventional companies have joined Tesla to ramp up production of EVs, with Forbes reporting that "The electrification of the transport system is set to accelerate in the late 2020s... Electric vehicle sales will surge thanks to tumbling battery costs and increasing scale in manufacturing."
  • Tesla's Model 3 has gotten record distance on a single charge, despite problems.

On the other hand, perhaps surprisingly, Tesla is struggling to be a profitable company. As the New York Times reported on May 1, Tesla is still burning cash to stay afloat.

But the company's billionaire leader insists that Tesla will be profitable as soon as Q3 of 2018. Per Techcrunch:

On Tesla’s last call to discuss the company’s quarterly results with Wall Street analysts, Musk said that the company would begin generating “positive quarterly operating income on a sustained basis,” and said he was “cautiously optimistic” that the company would be GAAP profitable.

What do you think? Question resolves positive if Musk's prediction comes true and Tesla posts a positive Q3 in 2018; negative if negative.


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