To say that it’s been a good week for Tesla would be quite an understatement. First, the Tesla Model S earned Consumer Reports’ highest-ever rating with a score of 99 out of 100. Then, after 10 years in business, the electric car maker announced its first quarterly profit in Q1 of 2013 with a net income of $11.2 million. In the wake of the news, Tesla stock prices surged 24 percent, and shares of the company’s stock reached $69.40 when markets closed in New York on Thursday.
Last year, Tesla posted a net loss of $89.9 million, so this was quite a turnaround for the Silicon Valley-based automaker. But news that Tesla turned a profit for the first time didn’t exactly come as a shock. In early April, the company announced that sales of the Model S had exceeded expectations, selling 4,750 units. On Wednesday, the company revealed exactly how well it had done in the first quarter of 2013, shattering Wall Street expectations.
Market analysts weren’t the only ones who were surprised at Tesla’s newfound success; the announcement must have raised some eyebrows in Detroit as well. In Q1, Tesla became the top seller of electric vehicles in North America, which is no small feat for a company that sells pricey luxury vehicles. Tesla ended up selling 4,900 Model S sedans, surpassing both the Nissan Leaf and the Chevy Volt in total sales.
Tesla isn’t resting on its laurels, though. During an investor call on Wednesday, CEO Elon Musk said that Tesla would continue to work on increasing production efficiency. And just last month, Musk announced that the company is planning to release a cheaper EV in 2017 that could have broader appeal.