Forget clunkers: Tesla profitable for July

Sticker shock? Tesla' Menlo Park, Calif. dealership. The base model Tesla Roadster starts at $101,500.

The US government's "Cash for Clunkers" may be getting all the headlines these days, but at least one company has been moving vehicles without the help of government subsidies.

As Eric Schofield over at TechCrunch reports, Silicon Valley electric car manufacturer Tesla has turned its first profit, a feat forecast in a blog post by CEO Elon Musk last month. July also saw the opening of a Tesla dealership in Manhattan, to go along with its expanding roster of outlets in major US cities and Europe.

Tesla sold 109 of its roadsters in July, good for $20 million in revenue and $1 million in profit. The company reported that, though it received a $465 million government loan in June, the profits didn't come as a result of those funds. That money, a spokesperson said, would be used to help production of its upcoming Model S, the four-door sedan unveiled to much ballyhoo in May on David Letterman's "Late Show."

As we told you back in June, Tesla's profits are a result not only of selling more units – including its higher-margin Roadster Sport – but of streamlining production and reducing associated costs.

The news of Tesla's profit comes days after companies working with Ford, Chrysler Group, and General Motors to produce electric car batteries received a $600 million government boost of their own.

For more on electric vehicles, see our take on Best Buy's foray into the market – and be sure to follow us on Twitter.

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