Tesla Motors has reported an unexpectedly large loss of $320m in the fourth quarter as it incurred higher operating costs related to new model development.
However, total Q4 non-GAAP revenue was $1.75 billion for the quarter, up 59% from a year ago, while GAAP revenue was $1.21 billion. For full year 2015, revenue totaled $5.29 billion on a non-GAAP basis, up 47% from 2014, and $4.05 billion on a GAAP basis. Total Q4 gross margin was 20.0% on a non-GAAP basis and 18.0% on a GAAP basis.
Tesla delivered 17,478 vehicles in Q4, including 206 Model X vehicles. Tesla directly leased 881 cars to customers in Q4, about the same percentage as last quarter and worth $85 million of aggregate transaction value. As expected, Model S average transaction price declined by about 2% due to vehicle and option mix. Price increases outside the US offset the impact of unfavorable movements in foreign currencies during the quarter.
New Model S orders grew over 35% year on year in Q4, with growth in all regions. Model X reservations grew over 75% as compared to the prior year.
During Q4, Tesla reduced Model S production costs, started volume Model X production and produced a record 14,037 new Tesla vehicles. Tesla anticipates approaching a Model X production rate of 1,000 vehicles a week in Q2.
Tesla plans to deliver 80,000 to 90,000 new Model S and Model X vehicles in 2016, representing accelerating growth over 2015 at the midpoint of the range. The company expects its average vehicle transaction price to increase slightly during 2016, as Model X grows to become a larger share of our deliveries throughout the year. In Q1, it plans to grow deliveries 60% year on year to approximately 16,000 vehicles, and plans to lease directly about the same percentage of cars as it did in Q4.
By year-end, the Palo Alto-based electric car maker projects Model S gross margin to approach 30% and Model X gross margin should be about 25%, with continued improvement for Model X in 2017.