Everyone rightly was blown away by Tesla actually posting a profit for Q3 of this year. After all, the California automaker has only done this a few times before. Even more amazing was the $312 million the company netted. Well, there’s a catch, because the majority of those profits weren’t from selling cars.
A filing with the SEC shows that about $189 million of those profits were from selling Zero Emission Vehicles regulatory credits to other automakers. The credits have always been controversial, and the current trend could cause them to go away completely.
It gets even more interesting, because automakers can hold ZEV credits to add more profitability to a particular quarter. It’s possible Tesla sandbagged its credits for some time, choosing to apply them all in a quarter where it made money selling cars, ballooning profits further.
With that background, it’s even more entertaining that Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been shooting his mouth off about Ford. He told a tech reporter that Ford isn’t likely to survive the next recession. That’s an interesting accusation that understandably has quite a few fans of the Blue Oval pretty upset. Ford has been on shaky ground lately, but maybe it can fix some of its woes by churning out a bunch of ZEVs and selling the credits? The strategy seems to work for Tesla.