Tesla hit: Three new cars a year China’s super factory goes into production

BEIJING, Dec. 23 (Xinhua) — 2019 is a fast-paced year for Tesla. That year, Tesla unveiled three new cars, including the All Terrain Suv, and the Shanghai Super plant went into production, sending the company’s performance and share price plummeting.

Tesla hit: Three new cars a year China's super factory goes into production

Three new cars.

In March, Tesla unveiled the Model Y. The car is almost a cross-border version of the Model 3 SUV, with no wind-pulling Eagle wing doors, and no surprising new features, like a Model 3 with a “little belly.”

By the end of the year, however, Tesla’s electric pickup Cybertruck had shocked the world, even for hardcore Tesla fans.

Just months before Tesla launched Cybertruck, CEO Elon Musk has repeatedly said that Cybertruck doesn’t look like a regular pickup truck. “It’s going to look science fiction, not what people think it is.” He said.

Tesla hit: Three new cars a year China's super factory goes into production


Even though Musk has given the outside world a precautionary shot, it was a surprise when Cybertruck came out. Cybertruck looks sturdy, angular and like an armored vehicle. In less than a week, it has already booked 250,000 vehicles.

At the end of the launch, Tesla also showed off an all-electric all-terrain off-road vehicle (ATV) to match Cybertruck’s use. They will all be available by the end of 2021.

That year, Tesla finally made good on its promise to launch the long-awaited $35,000 Model 3. Tesla promised to launch the car back in 2013 and reiterated that commitment in 2016 when it released the Model 3. Production of the Model 3 will begin at the end of 2017, but Tesla will only accept bookings for higher-battery, more feature-rich, high-priced models for a long time.

It wasn’t until March that Tesla finally began accepting a $35,000 model 3. But the good times didn’t take long, and less than three months later, Tesla raised the price of the Model 3 by $400. Currently, the cheapest Model 3 on Tesla’s website is priced at $399,900.

Shanghai Super Plant Put Into Production

At the beginning of this year, tesla’s Shanghai super plant officially broke ground. In October, Tesla said in its third-quarter results that construction at the Shanghai Superplant was completed ahead of schedule, taking 10 months, to begin trial production and prepare for mass production at the end of the year.

On October 17th, the construction of Tesla’s Shanghai Superplant ushered in an important node , with the first line of the 220 kV power package for the plant’s production and operation officially delivered power, marking the sprint phase of the entire Tesla Superplant project before it went into operation. The Tesla Power Support Project took only 168 working days from the formal application to the completion of the power transmission, which was the fastest speed of power delivery for the equivalent power package project in Shanghai.

Then, on October 25th, Tesla announced that the domestic version of the Model 3 was officially open for booking, with an official starting price of 355,800 yuan, which will be delivered to customers by January 25 next year.

Tesla’s global vice president, Dolin, revealed at the end of October that Tesla’s Shanghai superplant is already operational and is awaiting approval process, which will be ready for production and sales as soon as it is completed. The first phase is expected to produce 3,000 vehicles per week. In November, Tesla officially obtained a production license from China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

Also in November, Tesla announced plans to build super-factory 4 in Berlin, which is expected to produce batteries, drivetrains and vehicles. A few days later, the same day that Tesla launched Cybertruck, the company announced that its Chinese plant had begun making cars.

Loss first, then profit

That year, Tesla’s company’s performance went through a roller coaster. In the first quarter, Tesla lost $702 million and revenue fell 37 percent from a year earlier, the biggest month-on-month decline in the company’s history. The sharp drop in Tesla’s revenue was due in part to the fact that it delivered a large number of cars in the fourth quarter of last year as customers tried to take advantage of the company’s tax breaks.

But by the third quarter, Tesla had turned a profit, making $342 million. Tesla’s revenue for the quarter was broadly in line with analysts’ expectations, but it did better in cost control.

Analysts expect Tesla to still be profitable in the final quarter of the year, but will still lose money throughout 2019 and won’t be able to turn a profit for the full year until next year.

Meanwhile, Tesla’s share price has now exceeded $400 and its market value to $73 billion, bringing it closer to Musk’s previously announced $420 privatization price. Tesla’s shares have soared more than 54 percent since it reported its surprise earnings on October 23.

Competition, challenges

So far, Tesla has arguably dominated the U.S. electric car market, especially luxury ones. Even other carmakers, such as Audi and Jaguar, have introduced new electric cars, but they have yet to break Tesla’s lead.

But this year, more rivals are competing for the electric car market. In February, Volvo’s high-end electric car brand, Polestar, unveiled the Polestar 2 model. It appears to be Tesla’s biggest competitor in terms of size and price. Although the Polestar 2 is made in China, Volvo’s Scandinavian roots are reflected in the design.

By November, Ford had unveiled perhaps the most powerful model yet for Tesla’s immediate rival: the Mustang Mach-E. On November 17th, four days before Tesla was due to launch Cybertruck, Ford unveiled the model, even at a launch site like Cybertruck: a small airport near Los Angeles. Musk’s space companies, SpaceX and Tesla Design Studios, are in Los Angeles.

The direct target of the Mustang Mach-E is not Cybertruck, but Model Y. Both models have the same size, roughly the same price and similar performance. Ford’s aggressive design on the Mustang Mach-E makes Tesla’s look a little boring.

Tesla hit: Three new cars a year China's super factory goes into production

Ford Mach-E

Ford also has far more dealers and service centers than Tesla, which is a big selling point. But first, Ford needs to train all employees to know how to sell electric cars and provide services. Ford will also launch its largest electric vehicle charging network in the U.S. to counter Tesla.

Another problem for Tesla is that the federal tax credit is running out. The federal government provides consumers with a $7,500 income tax credit for electric cars, but only for the first 200,000 cars of a automaker. Tesla completed sales of the cars in the fourth quarter of 2018, so from the first day of 2019, The tax credit for Tesla buyers has been halved to $3,750. These tax credits will be cut further until they disappear completely by 2020. Tesla responded by reducing the price of all cars by $2,000 starting in 2019.

Will there be self-driving taxis in 2020?

Time is right now for 2020, what is Tesla’s worth looking forward to in the new year?

One of them is self-driving taxis, which Musk promised. At the Autopilot Investor Day event in April, he expressed confidence that Tesla cars would be able to complete autopilot orders when their owners were busy working. At that point, Tesla will be drawn out of the fare. The service will generate $30,000 a year in revenue for Tesla owners.

However, Musk acknowledged that the service may be somewhat optimistic next year.

“The only legitimate criticism from the outside world is that I sometimes don’t deliver on my promises on time, ” Musk said. ” “

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