Elon Musk faced many challenges throughout 2018, including stepping down as chairman, being sued over a Twitter rant and the infamous pot session on Joe Rogan’s podcast. Though as the new year is upon us, the cofounder of SpaceX and Tesla finally received good news: Tesla became America’s top premium automotive company, according to the latest sales figures.
The company announced on Wednesday that it delivered more than 90,000 vehicles in the last quarter of 2018, an increase of eight percent from the third quarter. Tesla outperformed BMW in Q4 by selling 10,000 more cars and SUVs. Tesla already outpaced Mercedes-Benz in Q3, as Forbes reports.
The Model 3, an all-electric coupe – capable of traveling from zero to 60 mph in 1.9 seconds – was Tesla’s best-selling vehicles, selling 63,150 vehicles. The Model S trailed behind, selling 13,500 vehicles, while the Model X sold 14,050 cars.
During an interview with Lesley Stahl on 60 Minutes, Musk stated the company has been losing money for nearly the duration of its existence. “Sometimes $100 million a week,” he stated. The company depended on the Model 3 in hopes of turning thing around, though it first needed to find a way to production.
Tesla is expected to produce at least 5,000 Model 3 sedans a week, while ideally making money simultaneously. Though nearly a year after beginning production, it has yet to meet that goal, which Musk originally said would hit before the end of 2017.
Musk managed to turn things around by creating a third line of production – in a big white tent, not to mention its in the factory parking lot. “Needed another general assembly line to reach 5k/week Model 3 production. A new building was impossible, so we built a giant tent in 2 weeks,” he Tweeted. “They also poured the concrete & built the whole assembly line using scrap we had in warehouses. And it’s way better than the other GA [general assembly] line that cost hundreds of millions!” The tent was built in only three weeks, saving Tesla and its founders potential disaster.
Of course, 2019 is just beginning, meanwhile Musk still faces an uphill battle with investors. Tesla’s stock plummeted yet again this week, due to attempting to lower costs to consumers. The company decreased the price of one of its EVs by $2,000 to compensate U.S. customers for a diminished federal tax credit, which sent the stock into a downward spiral. It seems even when Musk does something right, he still can’t seem to win. However, given Tesla’s latest sales figures, he may get the last laugh.