When Did Tesla Become Profitable?

Tesla, a company that started the electric vehicle revolution and made others follow the trend. But not all companies kick-start with rolling in dough. So, when did Tesla began showering in money? When did Tesla become profitable?

When Did Tesla Become Profitable

There’s no denying that in the list of electric vehicle manufacturers, Tesla is the dominating one. It has sold 1,917,450 vehicles to date, more than the world had manufactured. According to Statista, the revenue in the electric vehicle market is estimated to reach $561.3 billion in 2023.

The market unit sales of electric vehicles are expected to reach 17.07 million vehicles in 2028. This simply shows how big the electric vehicle market is and how massive it’s going to be.

So, without further ado, let’s begin the guide on understanding more about Tesla and when it became the world-dominating electric vehicle manufacturing company.

Who Owns Tesla?

The major shareholder of Tesla is Elon Musk. He is also the CEO of the company and owns 21.7% of stocks in the company. Other major shareholders comprise institutional investors like The Vanguard Group, Inc.,  Rowe Price Associates, Inc., etc.

Other than the CEO himself, another major individual shareholder of Tesla is Larry Ellison. He is the founder and CEO of Oracle and owns a 1.7% stake in Tesla company.

Other Major Shareholders Of Tesla:

StockholderStakeShares bought / soldTotal value ($)Shares bought/sold
Elon Musk21.7%411,062,076103 B $
The Vanguard Group, Inc.6.65%211,087,09952,818,213,912+1,799,558
BlackRock Fund Advisors3.67%116,404,34129,126,694,205+3,772,400
SSgA Funds Management, Inc.3.28%104,115,39026,051,752,886+4,431,570
Geode Capital Management LLC1.63%51,656,52612,925,495,936+1,608,559
Fidelity Management & Research Co…0.73%23,131,6735,788,007,218-4,098,499
T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc. (I…0.77%24,356,1406,094,393,351+1,982,045
Baillie Gifford & Co.0.73%23,188,9225,802,332,063-2,865,561
Norges Bank Investment Management0.89%28,085,2457,027,490,004+3,364,687
Northern Trust Investments, Inc.(…0.72%22,696,1705,679,035,657-306,251
Capital Research & Management Co. (World Investors)1.33%42,272,51210,577,427,953-306,251

Who Is Elon Musk?

When Did Tesla Become Profitable?

Tesla’s success and profitability in the industry are remarkable, particularly as a sustainable car manufacturer. Here’s a breakdown of Tesla’s financial growth timeline

2003-2004: Initial Funding

Tesla Motors was founded in 2003 by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpeneing. In 2004, Elon Musk joined the company and became the highest shareholder of the company, with $6.35 million in investments.

Later in the year 2004, Tesla Serie A Funding ended with $7.5 million raised.

2007: Initial Public Offering

In 2007, Tesla Motors conducted its first initial public offering, which saw a raise of $226.1 million. The shares were opened at $17 and ended at $23.89.

2008-2013: Global Financial Crisis

When the world was struggling in a global financial crisis, Tesla was no exception. At the time, Elon Musk managed to secure the US Department of Energy’s Backing for a loan facility agreement worth $465 million.

The loan was paid back in 2013, ahead of its repayment scheduled time.

2014: Expansion In China

In 2014, Tesla entered a new market, China, and reported significant results in addition to the more established regions of the USA, Canada, and Europe.

Car models like Model S generated more profit in comparison to the previous models. This stability and profitability provided a strong ground for experimenting with new models like Model 3.

2015-2017: Reached Bigger Markets

The years 2015-2017 were the years of rapid expansion, which was a result of strategic partnerships, successful entry into global markets, and increased revenue streams.

Moreover, the success of models like Model S and the EV sedan line Model 3 also contributed to the broader profit margins.

2018-2021: The Years Of Profitability

Tesla reported its first full-year profit in 2020 of $720 million, contrary to the loss of $862 million in 2019.

In the last three months of 2020, Tesla made $270 million, which is an increase of $105 million in 2019. This surge in profit waved a green flag to the company for portability.

Since then, the company has fulfilled its plan for AI-assisted vehicles and outpacing all its competitors in the USA with its models making sales:

Models Sales
Model S9,171
Model 355,030
Model X6,552
Model Y60,271

Tesla’s Financial Performance

Year Annual Revenue
2014$3,198 Billion
2015$4,046 Billion
2016$7,000 Billion
2017$11,759 Billion
2018$21,461 Billion
2019$24,578 Billion
2020$31,536 Billion
2021$53,823 Billion
2022$81,462 Billion

Tesla’s Annual Revenue 2014-2022

Tesla’s World-Wide Sales Among Car Manufacturers

Car ManufacturerSales
Tesla's World-Wide Sales

Tesla Sales 2023 Vs 2022

According to the below-mentioned graph, the sales of Tesla increased in 2023 in different countries.

Tesla Sales 2023 Vs 2022

What Are The Revenue Streams Of Tesla?

What Is The Profit Margin Of Tesla Cars?

Tesla was working on mass manufacturing in 2020, which resulted in increasing the profitability of the company. The company’s profit margin per car was $1700 In 2020, which increased to $6000 in 2021 and further reaching to $9580 in 2022.

This moved the profit margins of Tesla from negative 3.15% in 2019 to a whopping 15% positive in 2022.

What Is The Net Loss/ Income Of Tesla?

Year Net Loss
2015-$889 million
2016-$675 million
2017-$1,962 million
2018-$976 million
2019-$862 million
2020$721 million
2021$5519 million
2022$12,556 million
Tesla's net income/loss

Who Are The Competitors Of Tesla?

Who Are The Competitors Of Tesla

Tesla surely started the revolution of electric vehicles, but it also made other companies follow it and turn into the competitors of Tesla.

Therefore, as a manufacturer of electric vehicles, sports cars, and now trucks, the major competitors of Tesla comprise:

Moreover, Tesla is also an electric energy production and storage company, so the competitors in this field comprise:

  • Sunrun
  • SunPower
  • Vivint Solar

As an autonomous driving business, it competes with:

  • Zoox
  • Baidu
  • Waymo


So, when did Tesla become profitable? Tesla is no doubt the world’s dominating automobile industry with multiple revenue streams such as providing Tesla charging station franchises and electric energy production and storage company.

However, the initial days of the company were tough, but it eventually started growing and building a profitable and stable business in 2020.

The year 2020 changed the way Tesla conducted its operations. It made $270 million, which was an increase of $105 million in 2019.

This growth further paved the way for experimenting with new models, and this is how Tesla became the profitable company that it is now.


Is Tesla in profit or loss?

Tesla’s net loss/income for twelve months from June 30, 2023, was $29.159 billion, a 64.5% increase year-over-year.

Is Toyota more profitable than Tesla?

Yes, Toyota is the most profitable automaker once again. The change revealed in Toayota’s earnings shows how competitive the electric vehicle market is getting.

What is the cheapest Tesla car?

Tesla’s Model 3 is the cheapest Tesla car available. Its base model is retailing for $42,990.

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