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05 Abril 2018, 01:53 | Dolorita Barahona
Bloomberg’s Craig Trudell discusses tweets from Musk amid issues for Tesla surrounding Model 3 production
Amid production delays and quality issues with the Model 3, Tesla still managed to build 34,494 vehicles in Q1 2018-its "most productive quarter" in history the company said. It cited "the progress made thus far" as "laying the groundwork" for a strong third quarter. That's a relief for investors, and Tesla's stock price rebounded a little from a recent dip today.
In total, 4,060 Model S and X, and 2,040 Model 3 vehicles were in transit to customers by the end of the first quarter and the company says these vehicles will be delivered early in the second quarter.
Tesla is now making only 975 Model 3s a week - well short of the 2,500-unit rate target by the end of this quarter. Based on anticipated production growth, Tesla said it does not need to raise more capital or increase its debt at this time.
Increasing Model 3 production is important for the Silicon Valley electric carmaker, whose profitability is tied to the cheaper auto. During a first-quarter earnings call, Musk said the primary holdup was with robots at the company's battery Gigafactory. A photograph showed Musk apparently slumped unconscious beside a Model 3, holding a cardboard sign reading "Bankwupt". But in a statement Tuesday, the company conceded that some had cancelled, refusing to give numbers. Consumer Edge Research analyst James Albertine, who remains bullish even after Model 3 production missed his estimates, said, "Our hope is that subsequent ramps in production may be easier". The reasons for order cancellation are nearly entirely due to delays in production in general and delays in availability of certain planned options, particularly dual motor AWD and the smaller battery pack. But the problem is, Tesla has received an overwhelming number of orders, said to be in the vicinity of around half-a-million.
Tesla has hit an all-time high for production last quarter. Then, two federal agencies opened investigations into crashes of two of its models on California freeways, including one that killed a man near Mountain View.
This isn't even the first time he's done this, when Tesla was launching its Model X vehicle Musk apparently kept a sleeping bag by his desk so if there were any issues he could be there to assist.
Tesla shares peaked at $389 last September and have been declining steadily since, but analysts continue to give the company the benefit of the doubt as a big bet on the future of high-tech electric and self-driving vehicles. The recall comes after Tesla's stock downgraded to near junk status.
"A continued stock decline could accelerate equity dilution concerns and create a self-feeding downward spiral in the stock, making our tail risk scenario plausible", Shawn Quigg, an equity derivatives strategist at JPMorgan, wrote in a client note.
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