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Tesla posts 11th straight loss, revenue up

Despite rising sales, Tesla Motors has posted its 11th consecutive quarterly loss. The electric carmaker announced it would release a lower-priced Model 3 sedan in late 2017.

The Palo Alto-based

electric car manufacturer

reported a fourth quarter loss of $320 million (283.6 million euros) as revenue rose 27 percent to $1.2 billion, bringing yearly revenue to $4 billion with a loss of $889 million last year.

Tesla's stock, which has been

battered by 40 percent this year,

rose 9 percent in after-hours trading to $157 despite the poor earnings. The boost came from the announcement that its lower-priced Model 3 sedan would be unveiled in March and have a scheduled production start at the end of 2017.

The $35,000 sedan is about half the price of the Model S, a luxury vehicle, that has seen sales rise 76 percent in the fourth quarter to 17,272. Last year the company delivered 50,000 of the Model S, a jump of 60 percent from 2014.

Tesla's shares had fallen in recent days as investors voiced concern over delays of the Model S.

A shareholder letter said the company is seeing "growing worldwide demand for Tesla vehicles, supported by record production" and expects to deliver 80,000 to 90,000 Model S and Model X vehicles this year.

Tesla's new Model X SUV suffered difficulties ramping up production, but the company said it would deliver 1,000 SUVs per week by the second quarter. The price tag is $130,000.

The company is also making investments in battery technology and vehicle production.

"Achieving these results in 2016 should leave us well positioned for 2017, when we plan to launch Model 3 and take another significant step towards our mission of accelerating the world's transition to sustainable transportation," the company said in a letter.

cw/sms (AFP, AP)

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