APHELIA (AP) Tesla Motors Inc. may have made a bit of money on the electric vehicle it sold in 2018, but the automaker is facing growing criticism for not paying the $US1.5 billion it was due.
The California-based automaker made a profit of about $US2.5 million ($2.9 million) on the $1.8 billion it sold on the Model S sedan, according to the latest financial filings filed by Tesla in the U.S. and Canada.
That puts the Model 3, which it says is due to roll out later this year, at about $5 billion in the red.
Tesla’s stock is down nearly 3% this year.
Tesla is in the process of rethinking its future business strategy after a series of setbacks, including the closure of its Fremont, California, factory and the departure of its CEO.
Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk, a self-described Tesla fan, says the company is not looking to make more money from cars.
Tesla says it is making more than $US200 million from its Model 3 production, but only $US3.4 million of that is due in 2018.
A Tesla spokeswoman declined to comment on the financial results.
The Tesla Model 3 sedan is shown during a media event in Hawthorne, California in 2018.(AP Photo/Eric Risberg)The Model 3 has been the target of a growing backlash from investors who say the Model X sedan it was supposed to replace didn’t deliver on its promise of a more affordable car.
The Model X, a $US265,000 sedan, debuted in 2019 but didn’t sell enough cars to cover its projected cost.
Tesla was also shortchanged by $US100 million on a $2.8 million loan it received from California Governor Gavin Newsom in December 2018.
Tesla said at the time that it was “delivering on our vision” to make the Model 2 sedan “the best-selling electric vehicle in the world.”
“As the market shifts to electric vehicles, we are making the transition to a more sustainable model and we will continue to invest to achieve that,” Tesla said in its financial filing last week.
It is unclear whether Tesla’s 2018 losses would be made up for by a profit from its new Model 3.
In addition to missing payments on the loan, Tesla also missed payments on a long-delayed $US300 million factory expansion that the automakers said it needed to keep up with demand.
Tesla had previously said it planned to invest $US20 billion into its Fremantle factory and $US30 billion into a new production facility in Nevada.
Tesla has been in a difficult financial position for years.
The automaker reported a loss of $US6.5 per share in the fourth quarter of 2017, compared with a profit in the same quarter of last year of $3.8 per share.