Expect a 'Few Million' Tesla Vehicles by 2025

Jan 14, 2015 08:00 AM EST | Matt Mercuro

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Tesla will boost production of electric vehicles to "at least a few million a year" no later than 2025 from fewer than 40,000 last year, company CEO Elon Musk said at the Detroit Auto Show on Tuesday.

During an industry conference in the Motor City, Musk said that there is a good chance Tesla won't be profitable until 2020. Company sales in China were expected to be weak in the fourth quarter as well, according to Reuters.

Musk cited a misperception by city-dwelling Chinese consumes that could have a hard time charging their vehicles.

"We'll fix the China issue and be in pretty good shape probably in the middle of the year," he said during the conference.

Musk said in 2014 that Tesla will start phasing in autopilot features in its Model S sedan. The CEO predicted this week that it will be first to market with a self-driving car around 2020. Though driverless cars from Tesla and other companies could be ready in five years, it could take another two or three years for automakers to receive regulatory approval.

The company's highly-anticipated Model X SUV will be launched this summer, and a cheap Model 3 is still on track to become available starting in 2017, according to Reuters. The success of the Model 3 will likely decide if Tesla reaches its 500,000 vehicle sales goal by 2020.

If the Model S company reaches a few million vehicles by 2025 it would then be on par with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, which sold 2 million vehicles in the U.S. during 2014.

Musk also address working with retailers to sell Tesla vehicles during the conference.

"Before considering taking on franchised dealers, we also have to establish (more of) our own stores," he said.

He added that the company will "consider" franchising if they "find the right partner."

Tesla is not looking for any partnerships however with other manufacturers since its focus is "so heavily on improving our production."

Tesla sold 33,000 Model S sedans last year. The current wait for delivery is one to four months. 

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