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Revenue rises but losses widen at electric car company Tesla

August 04, 2011|By Jerry Hirsch, Los Angeles Times

Electric car company Tesla Motors Inc. posted a loss of $58.9 million in the second quarter as it sunk money into developing its Model S sedan and a crossover that it is calling Model X.

Tesla, based in Palo Alto, is refurbishing an old Toyota factory in Fremont, Calif., where it plans to build the cars. The Model S, an all-electric luxury sedan, is expected to go on sale next year.

The loss was 53% larger than the $38.5 million the company lost in the same period a year earlier. Revenue, however, grew 105% to $58.2 million.

The gain was powered by more sales of Tesla's Roadster sports car. The company has sold 1,840 of the cars and plans to build fewer than 700 more before the program ends next year.

Tesla's revenue also was helped by development deals with other automakers. The company is developing the powertrain for the electric version of Toyota's RAV4, which will go on sale next year. It is also building electric drive components for a Mercedes-Benz model and the Smart Fortwo.

The company said it expects revenue to hit the $180-million to $190-million range for the year, up from previous estimates of $170 million to $185 million.

Tesla shares fell 14 cents to $27.20 on Wednesday. The stock is up 2% year-to-date.

jerry.hirsch@latimes.com

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