Musk's Spotty Prophetic Record Muddles Tesla's Assurance on Cash

This Is What Elon Musk Thinks About Degrees
Tesla pushes out 9766 Model 3s in Q1 2018, sets ambitious Q2 goal
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06 April, 2018

With Tesla confirming its first quarter production and delivery results today, the company also confirmed that the Model 3 is now officially the best-selling electric auto in the US.

Deliveries hit new levels as well, with Tesla delivering 29,980 vehicles in total during the first quarter. The story really hinges on the Model 3.

Bloomberg even started a "Model 3 tracker" to crowd-source estimated production numbers, and it shows a large jump in rate as the quarter ended. Mounting liquidity pressures and challenges with the Model 3 prompted Moody's Investors Service last week to cut the carmaker's credit rating further into junk status, adding fuel to a selloff of the company's bonds to all-time lows. Reports have since emerged of CEO Elon Musk taking direct control of Model 3 production to get things back on track, something the billionaire moved to downplay the significance of on Twitter, while also kind of conceding he lives in a factory.

Hundreds of thousands of customers pre-ordered Tesla's hotly anticipated Model 3 within a week of its grand reveal. He agreed that Tesla needed eng & prod better aligned, so we don't design cars that are insane hard to build. On the other hand, the automaker also confirmed it will not meet the Q1 2018 production target it had set for the popular model. Following the release of its results for the quarter, its shares surged 7% in premarket hours, and later eased up 5% around $267 in midday trading.

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The real takeaway from the report is that unlike some of Musk's other notable successes, the vehicle industry may not have been as ripe for disruption as Tesla would have hoped. Over the weekend, Tesla revealed that the driver had been using Tesla's autopilot software feature at the time, raising more questions about the safety of the company's self-driving technology. Tesla reported that for the last week of March production reached 2,020 models in the last seven day period of the month.

Musk said in October 2016 that the company planned to do a Los Angeles-New York trip "without the need for a single touch" of the steering wheel by the end of a year ago to demonstrate the capabilities of Autopilot. What took our team five years for S/X, took only nine months for Model 3.

Tesla sees progress ahead for the mass-market sedan that keeps falling short of targets and said a capital raise won't be required this year, spurring a partial rebound for the electric-car maker's battered shares. Tesla shares opened up as much as 6.9 percent and gained 2.2 percent to $258.11 as of 9:47 a.m., regaining some ground after a 22 percent slump in March.


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