FREMONT (CNN) — Bay Area electric carmaker Tesla has a shot at selling 100,000 cars this quarter, a first for the company, according to an email that CEO Elon Musk has sent to his employees.
Hitting that target would be “an incredibly exciting milestone for our company” said Musk in the email, which was reported by Electrek. A person familiar with the email confirmed it.
Musk said that the company should end up with 110,000 orders for cars during the quarter, and that it is doing everything it can to get the vehicles delivered by Monday, the end of the third quarter.
“The challenge is making sure that we have the right car variants in the right locations and rallying as much as our company resources as possible to help with the end of the quarter deliveries,” he said.
Reaching 100,000 sales would top the company’s previous record of 95,200 cars it delivered in the second quarter of this year. It would be an impressive achievement nonetheless.
And Tesla is also facing a couple of headwinds specific to it. The federal tax credit its buyers receive fell by 50% to $1,875 at the start of the quarter in July, because Tesla reached a sales milestone last year that started to phase out the credit for its buyers. Some buyers might have rushed to buy cars in June to get a $3,750 credit. That could have come at the expense of July sales.
US buyers of plug-in cars from other manufacturers, except for General Motors, get a $7,500 credit. And GM plug-in buyers still get a $3,750 tax credit during the current quarter.
And Tesla is also facing increased competition for those who want to buy an electric car. In just the last year, Audi, Hyundai and Kia have introduced new electric vehicles to the US market.
But Tesla is still seeing strong demand for its cars, a sign of car buyers’ growing interest in electric vehicles.
The next challenge for Tesla is to return to profitability. It made money in the second half of 2018 as it ramped up production of the Model 3, its least expensive model. But it has reported losses in the first and second quarters of this year, as it works to complete a new factory in Shanghai and also works on development of its next offering, the Model Y, a lower cost SUV, set to launch in the fall of 2020.
Analysts are forecasting that the company will again report a loss in the third quarter, although it is expected to be a smaller loss than what it reported in the first or second quarters.
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