Tesla 'out-accelerating the Model T'

Virginia Carson
April 5, 2018

The figure represents a 40% increase over Q4 2017. The company had previously said that it would reach a production target of 2,500 Model 3 units per week by the end of the first quarter.

Tesla's Elon Musk told investors the company will be closing in on higher production numbers for the Model 3. Tesla said it was able to double the Model 3's production rate during the first quarter by addressing supply bottlenecks and upgrading equipment.

The company built 34,494 vehicles during 2018's first quarter - 9,766 of which were Model 3s.

In February, China imported 2,323 vehicles with electric motors from the United States, and 2,160 of those were Teslas.

Most notably, Tesla said it "does not require" any additional capital in 2018 through a sale of stock or issuance of debt.

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Even if you believe that Tesla is closer to getting back on track with Model 3 production, the California automaker isn't out of what CEO Elon Musk calls "production hell" just yet.

Tesla said it is planning further steps to improve capacity and, as a result, anticipates Model 3 production to increase "rapidly" in the next three months towards its target of 5000 per week.

The issue has not led to any accidents or injuries and doesn't impact the Model X sport utility vehicle or the more affordable Model 3.

"It has been extremely hard to pass the 2,000 cars per week rate for Model 3, but we are finally there". Among customers who have received a Model 3, Tesla said satisfaction is very high, and that the number of reservations has remained stable despite the long wait some customers are experiencing. The company reported that in the last 7 days, it produced 2,020 vehicles.

But nothing matters to Tesla's future as much as Model 3 production. It's sticking to a target of building 5,000 Model 3s per week, by the end of June.

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Tesla has both immediate and long-term concerns.

Over the next 12 months, Tesla will reportedly burn through $2 billion in cash and see $1.2 billion of its debt mature. Probably not. Historically, other companies have been through worse and managed to bounce back and then some. Among other things, JPMorgan is anxious about the effect further Tesla stock losses will have on the company's ability to refinance the nearly $1 billion of debt coming due in 2019. The volume of the company in the last trading session was 18.82 Million. The competitors of Tesla include Ford, BMW, Fiat.

The stock's current distance from 20-Day Simple Moving Average (SMA20) is -19.91% where SMA50 and SMA200 are -23.45% and -25% respectively. The stock fell -33.33% after reports were released that suggested a possible bankruptcy of General Motors.

Watch Tesla trade in real time. The mission statement of Tesla is to speed up the world's adoption rate of renewable energy - not to make electric cars. That's just a bit short of the 2,500 a week Musk was aiming for by this point, and it was only for one week of the quarter, but it's a large improvement over earlier efforts.

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