FREMONT (KCBS) — In a first for Tesla Motors, the Silicon Valley-based electric car manufacturer announced the company turned a profit in the first quarter and sales are exceeding forecasts.

Tesla is reporting that more than 4,700 Model S luxury sedans have been sold so far, which is more than the 4,500 the company expected to sell in the first quarter. The sleek, all-electric sedan had won car of the year honors from both Motor Trend and Automobile magazines.

The automaker, with headquarters in Palo Alto, has not made a profit until now.

In a written statement, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said, “There have been many car startups over the past several decades, but profitability is what makes a company real. Tesla is here to stay.”

Actor and environmental advocate Peter Coyote spoke at Tesla’s Menlo Park dealership, where he was taking a test drive with his wife. He said it’s no surprise that Tesla is off and running.

“I love the look of it and really, we’re going to need our oil for medical supplies and a host of stuff. Burning it up in automobiles is just stupid,” Coyote said.

The four-door luxury car was first unveiled back in 2009, but it took until late last year for the cars to begin rolling off the company’s Fremont assembly line.

Tesla closed up $6.04, or 15.94 percent, to $43.93 a share on Monday.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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