The same day Tesla announced its third-quarter financial results, which included delivering a record 11,602 vehicles, the automaker also promoted new leadership in finance and sales and service.
Jason Wheeler is Tesla’s next chief financial officer, while Jon McNeill becomes president of global sales and service.
The new CFO joins Tesla after spending 13 years at Google, where he was vice president of finance and headed up Google’s global finance function. Wheeler is replacing Deepak Ahuja, who announced his retirement from Tesla earlier this year. Wheeler will assume the new position on Nov. 30, and Deepak will remain at Tesla for a few more months to help with the transition.
"What the Tesla team has achieved in building compelling alternatives in transport and energy is simply incredible. I am so excited to join an amazing team dedicated to such a broad and inspiring mission. Looking forward to jumping into the fast lane," said Wheeler.
McNeill is the former CEO of Enservio. Before leading Enservio, he co-founded Sterling Collision Centers, and back in 1993 McNeil founded First Notice Systems.
"Very few companies are literally changing the world for the better — Tesla is. I'm thrilled to join this incredible team," said McNeill.
Moving on to highlight some of the key points from the company’s conference call held Tuesday, some of the stats served to put investors’ minds at ease, according to industry analysts.
Karl Brauer, senior analyst for Kelley Blue Book, commented on Tesla earnings:
“When Tesla’s earlier claims of 55,000 deliveries in 2015 were adjusted down a few months ago, investors wondered if that reduction was a singular event or the start of a pattern of reduced delivery estimates. With the third quarter production numbers in, and Musk’s assertion that 50,000 to 52,000 cars will be delivered in 2015, investors are feeling less nervous and the stock reflects it,” he said. “There’s still the near-term issue of Model X production and Model 3 launch timing, both of which need to remain on schedule for Tesla to keep growing sales, but for now the company’s third quarter numbers appear ‘close enough’ to keep Wall Street happy.”
In the company’s Q3 shareholder letter, Tesla gave an update on its certified pre-owned program, as well.
According to the letter, the number of pre-owned Tesla vehicles sold in Q3 exceeded the number of customer trade-ins received, which resulted in a 17-percent reduction in trade-in unit inventory. Since the launch of the CPO program this past April, many analysts have been interested in how Tesla aims to source the certified program.
On the new side of the market, Tesla shared it delivered a record 11,602 new vehicles in Q3, while also launching the Model X and starting deliveries for this model, as well.
And since the launch of the Model X, the company’s first SUV, Tesla management shared order rates for both Model S and Model X vehicles is growing.
“Although it is too early to draw firm conclusions, this supports our belief that Model X expands the market for Tesla vehicles, with little to no cannibalization of Model S,” the letter stated.
Maintaining adequate supply of these vehicles has also been a concern for the company, but in Q3, the company exceeded its initial plan by producing 13,091 vehicles, including the first Model X vehicles — despite a one-week factory shut down to expand manufacturing capacity.
Tesla also directly leased 494 cars to customers in Q3, worth $45 million of aggregate transaction value, according to the shareholder letter.
Looking ahead to Q4, the company shared it expects to build 15,000 to 17,000 vehicles, and deliver 17,000 to 19,000 vehicles, which it said will result in 50,000 to 52,000 total deliveries for the year.
And the company is still on track to launch its Model 3, which will go for around $35,000, in late March 2016.
In analysis released earlier this fall when the Tesla X first launched, Edmunds.com director of industry analysis Jessica Caldwell said: "There's little doubt in the marketplace that Model X will be successful with its audience of wealthy early adopters. But today's launch is a quick stop on a longer and more important journey.
“The real test for Tesla comes down the road when it launches the Model 3, when we'll learn for sure if mainstream car buyers are ready to make the switch from gas to electric,” she added.