Explaining Southern California's economy

Elon Musk on a roll: First SpaceX succeeds, and now Tesla wins Motor Trend Car of the Year

Paul Sakuma/Associated Press

Tesla workers cheer on one the first Tesla Model S cars sold during a rally at the Tesla factory in Fremont, Calif., in June. The luxury all-electric sedan just won Motor Trend's Car of the Year award.

Elon Musk is a on a serious roll.

He's CEO of two companies: SpaceX and Tesla Motors. SpaceX, based near Los Angeles, just completed the first paid commerical resupply mission to the International Space Station. 

The news just broke that Tesla's Model S sedan has won Motor Trend's Car of the Year award. And here's what the publication has to say:

[T]his is the first COTY winner in the 64-year history of the award not powered by an internal combustion engine? Sure, the Tesla's electric powertrain delivers the driving characteristics and packaging solutions that make the Model S stand out against many of its internal combustion engine peers. But it's only a part of the story. At its core, the Tesla Model S is simply a damned good car you happen to plug in to refuel.

Indeed. I'm not entirely sure, but I think this may be the first time that a car made in the San Francisco Bay Area has ever won COTY. 

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Tesla reports HUGE quarterly revenue increase in latest earnings statement

Tesla Model S electric car on display du

STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images

Tesla Model S electric car on display during the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan. Will Tesla be able to deliver 20,000 of these babies next year?

The startup electric carmaker Tesla, helmed by CEO Elon Musk (his other company, SpaceX, just splashed-down its first successful commerical resupply mission to the International Space Station), continues to lose money — $1.05 a share in the third quarter, says its most recent earnings statement released today. 

That's worse than in previous quarters and a lot worse than last year's third quarter, when Tesla lost 63 cents a share.

Compounding this bad news: Tesla lost more than analysts had expected. But there's some good news, too - a massive uptick in revenues for this quarter over the one before. This is from Tesla's SEC filing:

Our Q3 revenues were $50 million, an 88% increase from the prior quarter, which reflects ramping deliveries of Model S, continued sales of the remaining Roadsters internationally, and an increase in powertrain component sales to Toyota for the RAV4 EV. We delivered 253 Model S and 68 Roadsters in the quarter. Limited development services revenue was recognized in the quarter; however, progress on the full electric powertrain for the Mercedes Benz EV continues on schedule.

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