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Tesla Continues to Defy its Critics (Mostly)

Depending on whom you ask, Tesla is either doing well or its being deceptive in regards to its accounting.

Life at Tesla is good these days. The EV automaker has just announced that it sold 5,150 Model S EV sedans in the US last quarter. Why is that a good number? Because the $69,900 Model S is selling about the same number of units as the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf, which are both considerably less expensive. Tesla also confirmed that it’s building almost 500 vehicles a week. Oh yeah, it also said it made $26.2 million. And it also lost $30 million. Say what? Here’s what: Basically, Tesla included in its quarterly report its leasing accounting.

What’s happening here is that Tesla offers buyers "a loan/purchase/buyback scheme that lets people basically lease the cars with Tesla getting all the money up front via a financing arrangement with Wells Fargo or US Bank." Simply put, Tesla received all of the cash for those cars up front and included that in its quarterly report. It’s also been selling off its zero emissions vehicle credits to other automakers, but those profits also went down last quarter. Call it some fancy accounting, if you will. Overall, however, Tesla is still going strong, and it’s just delivered its first European Model S this past week. A right-hand drive version is also in the works as well as bringing the EV to China.

Rumors have also come up regarding an all-wheel drive version of the Model S, and new features are regularly being added to it. Elon Musk also stressed that the automaker is busy getting the Model X crossover ready to go as well as an affordable model that’ll be priced at around $35,000. Consider it the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt’s worst nightmare. Musk also had this to say about the new BMW i3: "There’s room to improve."

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