So what do you do when you’ve just burned through a record $1.2 billion of cash in one quarter, expect to burn an additional $2 billion in capex in the second half of the year and haven’t a prayer of generating positive earnings at any point in the near future? Well, you slash your product prices, of course.
Apparently this is exactly the strategy that Elon Musk has decided to pursue with his Model X after quietly slashing its price tag from $82,500 to a far more affordable $79,500 last night. Tesla explained the price cut via the following statement:
“When we launched Model X 75D, it had a low gross margin. As we’ve achieved efficiencies, we are able to lower the price and pass along more value to our customers.”
But it wasn’t just the base MSRP on the Model X that got a price cut, as electrek points out, Tesla also decided to cut prices on the their Model S and throw in their $5,000 premium package for free.
All dual Motor Model S vehicles also got a slight $1,500 price drop, but the Model S P100D and Model X P100D were the most affected by last night’s changes.
Tesla updated the options of the vehicles to add more premium features as standards.
The “$5,000” Premium Package is now being absorbed into standard features for top versions of Tesla’s vehicles. Here’s the Premium package and the new standard features on a Model S P100D:
Of course, as we recently pointed out in our review of Tesla’s 2Q 2017 earnings, this is probably the exact right move for a company burning through roughly $13 million in cash every single day. Here are some of the highlights from our recent earnings review:
One month after Tesla stock tumbled when the electric car maker announced that it had missed Wall Street estimates for the second quarter, delivering only 22,000 vehicles instead of the 22,912 expected, moments ago Tesla reported adjusted, non-GAAP Q2 earnings which beat expectations, with an adjusted loss of $1.33, better than the -$1.88 expected, which curiously was identical to the -1.33 loss in Q1.
Tesla continued to burn cash, and in the second quarter it outdid not only itself but Netflix too, with a record cash burn of -$1.16 billion – or roughly $13 million per day – almost double what it burned in Q1. In Q3, Tesla’s CapEx was $959 million, a number which is set to surge as the Model 3 launch continued well into into Q3: Tesla expects it will burn another $2 billion in CapEx in the second half.
Understandably, the cash burning behemoth was proud to announce that it had more than $3 billion in cash on hand at the end of Q2. There is just one problem, and this wasn’t announced in the letter: Tesla also $3.9 billion in accounts payable and accrued liabilities, as the company drains all net working capital sources of cash it can find. Meanwhile, accounts receivable actually declined. This was the first quarter in which paybales and accrued were nearly $1 billion more than cash and equivalents!
All that said, Tesla investors don’t really seem to care about cash burn. And, since lower prices will undoubtedly result in a couple extra sales throughout the year, albeit at a cash loss, we’re quite certain that investors will applaud this latest move by Musk…genius if we understand it correctly.