Lease volume grew 86% in the fourth quarter of 2014 at Tesla Motors. During the quarter, Tesla leased 647 Model S cars — totaling $65 million — directly to consumers. It expects to lease the same percentage of vehicles in this quarter. By comparison, Tesla leased 347 vehicles in the third quarter, and 1,152 for the year.
In an earnings call Wednesday, Chief Executive Elon Musk hinted at a possible securitization in Tesla’s future. “We can take those leases, fund them, and put them into a securitization program or get a warehouse loan to recover the capital,” he said. Musk went on to delineate how Tesla’s leasing program differs from the competition. “The other car companies sell the cars to the dealer groups, but then they will turn around and lease finance those same cars,” he said. “If we do a lease, it’s all internal and we’re not trying to sort of send it through some third-party where actually the risk is still assumed by the parent car company.”
Musk also said on the call that half of Tesla’s sales were financed, but did not specify a time period. Tesla delivered a record 9,834 vehicles in the fourth quarter.