Tesla 3Q production numbers up but can they be sustained?

Posted October 03, 2018

But the claim on August 7 that he had the funding to take Tesla private, and a subsequent U-turn, stunned Wall Street and came amid public appearances which saw Musk smoke marijuana live on air and call a British diver in the Thai cave rescue a "pedo".

The company said on Tuesday it missed its production target of 6,000 Model 3s by 700 cars in the final week of September and outlined hurdles it faced due to the worsening of President Donald Trump's trade war with China. "If Musk can step away from the external stuff that doesn't matter, he'll make the game that much easier for himself, and that will be good for everyone, just like this settlement". In a September 30 email, filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday, Musk said the electric vehicle maker is nearing profitability. At the moment however, Tesla has yet to name a new chairman.

"We are very close to achieving profitability and proving the naysayers wrong, but, to be certain, we must execute really well tomorrow (Sunday)", the last day of the quarter, Musk said. "The CEO is certainly more involved than the chairman in day-to-day operations".

Analysts hoped the deal, which enforces oversight of Musk's public communications, would put an end to several months of turmoil that has prevented investors from focusing on a business that churned out a reported 80,000 cars in the third quarter. "If we go all out tomorrow, we will achieve an epic victory beyond all expectations".

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As part of a settlement agreed with the commission for that tweet, Elon was made to pay a penalty of $20 million as well as agreeing to step down as Tesla's chairman.

The numbers initially lifted Tesla shares but they fell later as investors anxious about the company's warning that a 40-percent tariff on Chinese imports of its cars was blocking sales in the world's biggest electric auto market.

The company has been under mounting pressure to stop burning through cash with a big chunk of its more than $10 billion in debt coming due by March.

53,239 Model 3 vehicles, which was in line with our guidance and nearly double the volume of Q2. Model S deliveries approached 15,000, while Model X deliveries topped 13,000.

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But customers have been complaining that their Tesla delivery dates have been delayed over and over while vehicles sit unmoved in lots.

It is increasingly hard to make sense of Tesla's math.

Where Tesla was in "production hell" a year ago, it is now in "delivery logistics hell", according to Musk. We're making rapid progress.

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