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Tesla sees 20,000 sales in 2013
Tesla Motors can generate positive cash flow with an annual order base of just 8,000 units, and the electric-vehicle maker is "highly confident" of reaching sales of 20,000 vehicles in 2013, CEO Elon Musk said today.

Musk, addressing shareholders at Tesla's annual meeting at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif., predicted the company would generate a 25 percent gross margin, with an operating margin in the low to mid teens, in the near future.

Tesla reported a first-quarter net loss of $89.9 million, worse than its $48.9 million loss last year, as the cost of bringing the Model S sedan to production mounted. First-quarter revenue fell to $30.2 million, from $49 million last year, reflecting the end of Roadster sales in North America.

Musk has described 2012 as a "year of two halves," with the Model S launch as the dividing line. Ninety percent of the company's revenue this year will come from the sedan. Tesla expects full-year revenue between $560 million and $600 million.

The automaker delivered the first two Model S sedans last week, and broader-scale deliveries will begin this month.

Pricing for the Model S starts at $57,400 and can go as high as $105,400 with longer-range and higher-performance battery packs. The vehicles are eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit.

A 45-day nationwide road show starts June, Musk said.

Tesla will start selling the Model S in Europe and Japan in six months, and in China in 2013. Production of right-hand-drive models will begin in mid-2013.

Musk said Tesla is targeting sales of 35,000 in 2014, when the Model X crossover us scheduled to arrive.

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