Dissapointing Chinese Tesla sales thwart ambitious plans

Tesla, the American electric-car maker reported a loss of $108 million (£71m) in the fourth quarter.

As a comparison, the company reported a loss of $16m (£10.5m) at the same time last year.

In a statement to shareholders, Tesla puts focus on the increased numbers of stores and the growth of the Supercharger network, before noting the disappointing figures.

“In 2014, we also increased our number of stores and service centers by over 40 per cent, expanded our Supercharger network by 400 per cent, started construction of the Gigafactory and introduced numerous advances on Model S,” it says in the statement.

The company built 11,627 vehicles in Q4, but a combination of bad weather, holidays and shipping problems all were to blame for a number of vehicles that weren’t shipped on time.

“While we were able to recover the lost production by end of the quarter, delivering those cars was physically impossible due to a combination of customers being on vacation, severe winter weather and shipping problems (with actual ships). As a result, about 1,400 vehicles slipped December and were delivered in Q1.”

In a statement accompanying earnings Mr Musk said "we remain convinced of the vast potential of this market".

Company’s CEO Elon Musk has recently threatened to fire executives in China after weak sales in that country.

Tesla sold about 120 cars in China last month, one of the sources told Reuters, well below the company's aggressive targets. Musk has previously said he expected China sales could rival those in the United States as early as 2015.