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Examining Tesla's (TSLA) Growth Over The Last Decade

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Shares of Tesla (TSLA - Free Report) soared nearly 10% on Wednesday, closing in on its best day since November 2015. The surge came after CEO Elon Musk claimed that the electric car company is set to reach its Model 3 production goals. Today’s massive gains also present a great time to take a look at Tesla’s performance since going public.

Tesla shareholders backed Musk as chairman and CEO at the company’s annual meeting, after two separate votes struck down proposals that aimed to split the CEO and chairman roles and disrupt Tesla’s board of directors. Musk then boasted that it is “extremely likely” the electric car giant will hit a weekly production rate of 5,000 Model 3 cars by the end of the current month.

Musk’s announcement came amid turbulent times for Tesla, on the back of continued debt and production concerns. But, instead of going any deeper into recent company news, let’s take a look at just how far Tesla has come from startup to multibillion-dollar Wall Street darling.


Tesla pulled in just $14.7 million in 2008, only to see its sales skyrocket to $111.9 million the following year, which marked a 661% surge. Tesla then went public in the summer of 2010. In the electric vehicle company’s first full year as a public company, it reported sales of $204 million. This marked 75% growth from its IPO year when it made $116.7 million.

Tesla’s early expansion was impressive, but the fourth quarter of 2012 was when the company’s current growth story really started. Tesla delivered roughly 2,400 Model S vehicles that quarter and about 2,650 for the year. Tesla reported Q4 revenues of $306 million, which pushed full-year sales to $413.3 million.

One year later, Tesla was a multibillion-dollar a year electric automaker that sold a record 6,892 Model S vehicles in Q4, reporting total revenues of $2.01 billion in 2013.

Tesla’s full-year revenues climbed by roughly $1 billion a year over the next two years, with sales reaching $4.05 billion by 2015. The company’s revenues then surged to $7 billion in 2016.

Last year, Tesla sold a total of more than 100,000 vehicles, marking a 33% increase from the year earlier. This jump in vehicle sales helped Tesla post total revenues of $11.76 billion in 2017.


Investors can clearly see that Tesla stock has crushed the S&P 500 since it went public back in 2010. TSLA has also blown away automotive giants Ford (F - Free Report) and General Motors (GM - Free Report) . Meanwhile, it is worth noting that Tesla’s climb outpaces Amazon’s (AMZN - Free Report) 1,277% surge and blows away Micron’s (MU - Free Report) impressive growth, helping make it one of the best-performing stocks on the market during this span.

Tesla has obviously been on an incredible run over the last decade, jumping from revenues of $14.7 million in 2008 to $11.76 billion last year. But its stock price was down 11% over the last 52 weeks—prior to Wednesday’s charge—as investors assess Tesla’s somewhat murkier future.

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