Tesla ($TSLA) announced their much-hyped quarterly earnings yesterday, and it didn’t go over so well. Though the company announced a new sales record and sold more cars (comparatively speaking), they still missed expectations on profit. Today, their stock went down by exactly 5% as investors pondered whether or not the company was really worth more than Ford.
Yet tucked away in the company’s earnings were several glimpses of their future. With the affordable, mass-market Model 3 car on the way and numerous other projects in the pipeline, Tesla’s shortcomings now might not matter if the company ultimately succeeds down the line. In fact, these four takeaways could turn Tesla into an entirely different company in the future:
1) Tesla will open their own auto body shops.
Tesla will open their first company-owned body repair shops in 2017. This will not only allow them to repair more cars with ease, but it will bring in more revenue for the company. After all, if you Tesla owners can choose between going to the source for help with their vehicle and a shop that doesn’t exclusively specialize in Teslas, they might choose the former. Nonetheless, Tesla will also expander their repair certification program, allowing more non-Tesla-owned body shops to repair the company’s electric vehicles.
2) Tesla could automate future vehicles.
Tesla plans on releasing their Model Y, a compact SUV, in 2020. As company’s next major car after the Model 3, Tesla expects the new vehicle will help them achieve the milestone of selling 1 million cars by 2020. To achieve this, however, the company needs to make the cars easier to manufacture. As Musk hinted at during the quarterly earnings, this means rethinking how future cars are built. This could also mean automation, which would eventually save on company overhead but mean keeping less workers on the payroll.
3) Tesla probably won’t make a bus.
Last summer, Elon Musk spoke of a hypothetical public transport bus built using Tesla technology. Now, Musk is casting doubt on the future of the Tesla bus. Instead, Musk proposes a future network of autonomous Tesla vehicles, which would (hypothetically) cost less for consumers. He then spoke at length about tunnels for a bit and how they could help solve overcrowding problems on urban streets, which would help said network move around better than a bus could.
4) Tesla only sold a hair over 25,000 vehicles this quarter.
Tesla sold 25,051 vehicles in the first quarter of 2017. This is over 10,000 more vehicles than the sold during Q1 2016, but still significantly less than any leading car manufacturer. At the same time, Tesla’s stock is priced higher than many popular car manufacturers, yet the company sells less cars. This is because investors have faith in the company’s future growth, believing they can one day achieve GM and Ford-like levels of output (though not any time soon).