Tesla assuages cash concerns with promise of Model 3 progress

Tesla pushes out 9766 Model 3s in Q1 2018, sets ambitious Q2 goal
Tesla shares fall on worries about Model 3 production rate
Author

06 April, 2018

The next-gen Nissan Leaf is still a mystery, but its USA deliveries have so far been extremely limited with only just over 2,500 vehicles so far this year.

Musk himself has taken direct control of Model 3 production and the company says it already has about 500,000 advance reservations from customers for the vehicle.

Despite what some experts have been predicting, Tesla says it will not need an equity or debt raise this year other than standard credit lines.

Invest wisely, my friends.

The company led by Elon Musk built 2,020 Model 3 cars in the last seven days, trailing its target for a 2,500-unit rate for the final week of March. Generally anyone who has ridden one of their high-end Model S sedans or Model X SUVs walks away with envy for the owner, and perhaps might think of buying one for themself.

Even as he introduced the Model 3 at an event last summer, Musk warned that the company would find itself in "production hell" - and as those words proved prescient, he has had to repeatedly dial back his forecasts.

In a report released this morning, Tesla said it built 34,494 vehicles in the first quarter of this year: a total of 24,728 Model S sedans and Model X crossovers and 9,766 Model 3 sedans.

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On the delivery side, Tesla put customers behind the wheel of 29,980 vehicles including 8,180 Model 3s, 11,730 Model S' and 10,070 Model Xs.

Announced in March 2016, and originally set for launch by the end of 2017, the Model 3 generated huge interest, with 450,000 (paid) reservation deposits plonked down.

The firm said in a statement it had doubled its weekly Model 3 production rate in the third quarter.

Baird analyst Ben Kallo also maintained his Outperform rating on Tesla stocks.

After assessing Tesla's Q1 production numbers as well as the company's cash burn, Bloomberg's Liam Denning wondered if the shareholders' optimism was justified. At a cost of US$35,000 apiece, the company's debut electric sedan for the mass market promises a 215-mile (346-km) range, a sub-six-second 0-60 miles per hour (96.5 km/h) sprint and Tesla's evolving suite of autonomous driving technologies. "The strategy of Tesla is to enter at the high end of the market, where customers are prepared to pay a premium", Elon Musk wrote over a decade ago, "and then drive down market as fast as possible to higher unit volume and lower prices with each successive model".

Tesla also sought to dispel quality concerns for the Model 3, which GTM reported on last month.

Spak lowered his Tesla price target to $305 a share, roughly 20% below his previous target of $380.


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