Image: Norio Nakayama Image: Norio Nakayama

Tesla, the company that is supposedly haemorrhaging cash at an alarming rate, has made a profit. Does that mean Tesla is close to fulfilling its plans?

Sometimes, things just surprise. Tesla made a profit of $22 million in its latest quarter – something that few people expected.

On the other hand, back in the summer, Elon Musk, the company’s high profile boss, sent an email to staff imploring them to find ways to cut costs so that they could ‘deliver every car we possibly can.’

So maybe that worked.

Musk wants Tesla to ramp up production to 500,000 cars a year by 2018. He has also said that a Tesla car will be able to drive from Los Angeles to New York in self-driving mode by the end of 2017.

He also wants to buy Solar City – the maker and seller of solar power systems in the US, whose chairman is a chap called Elon Musk.

To achieve these aims, the company will surely want to raise a lot more money.

The latest profits will help build credibility and the plan to have a Tesla drive from the City of Angels to the Big Apple in self-driving mode will create a lot of hype.

But was it a one-off, a good quarter, just in time to impress analysts ahead of fund raising, but before another big loss-making quarter?

Musk said to analysts: “One of the criticisms I’ve seen out there is that perhaps Q3 was at the expense of Q4—this is not true. We are headed to have a great fourth quarter.”

He added: “There could be unexpected negative things that occur; there could be some global, macroeconomic slowdown…Who knows what could happen?”