Tesla Inc. reported a second consecutive quarter of profit for the first time in company history.
Tesla said it earned $139 million in the fourth quarter of 2018. It was also Tesla’s fourth profitable quarter ever, according to an investor letter published on Wednesday. Tesla generated $7.2 billion in revenue in the quarter, a record for the company, compared with $3.29 billion a year ago.
Total revenue for 2018 was $21.4 billion — another record for the company — though Tesla still posted a $1 billion loss across the year.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk said last year that he expected Tesla to be sustainably profitable beginning in the third quarter of 2018.
The company said it would “continue to produce Model 3 vehicles at maximum production rates throughout 2019.” Tesla also said that while its “delivery and logistics systems continued to progress” in the fourth-quarter, there remained “room for more improvement.”
Tesla said earlier this month that it made a total of around 253,000 cars in 2018. It delivered about 245,000 of those; just under 140,000 of those were Model 3s. In the fourth-quarter, Tesla said it delivered 63,359 Model 3 vehicles to customers in North America, and this month began producing Model 3 vehicles for Europe and China. Both markets are considered important growth opportunities for the company.
The company also said on Wednesday that it hopes to deliver 360,000 to 400,000 cars total in 2019, an increase of 45 to 65 percent over 2018.
Tesla plans to unveil a similarly affordable Model Y crossover SUV in March, but it won’t go into volume production until 2020. Since Model Y will be built on the Model 3 platform and is designed to share about 75% of its components with Model 3, the cost of the Model Y production line should be substantially lower than the Model 3 line in Fremont, and the production ramp should also be faster.