Tesla rallies with Model Y in the mix

Second Measure Second Measure
Second Measure Second Measure

07 June, 2018

Elon Musk appeared emotional at Tesla's annual investor meeting this week after he rebuffed a shareholder attempt to strip him of his role as chairman. Missed targets for the Model 3 contributed to the company burning through more than US$1bn in three of the last four quarters. The decision represented a major show of confidence in Musk, who has drawn criticism in recent months amid stock pressure, concerns about Tesla's ability to meet production benchmarks and his treatment of media figures and analysts.

At the firm's 2018 shareholder meeting, an audience member commented on Musk's leather jacket and asked: "Has Tesla ever thought about going into the motorcycle business?" The Model 3 is supposed to start at around $35k, though Tesla has yet to begin delivering those base-spec versions.

"But I think we're getting there", he added.

As it works on ramping Model 3 output, the automaker is moving furiously to expand production at its massive battery manufacturing plant in Nevada. Musk answered a question about producing a compact auto smaller than the Model 3 by saying that it's likely that Tesla would offer such a vehicle "in the next five years".

The Tesla chairman and CEO also offered updates on some future products, including the long-awaited $35,000 version of the Model 3.

Meeting the goal of 5,000 Model 3s a week by the end of June is crucial to generating enough cash to sustain operations without having to raise more capital.

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Kimbal Musk - who now sits on Tesla's board - would lie to his older brother about the time, telling the future billionaire that the bus would be arriving, several minutes ahead of schedule.

In addition to the usual company presentation on operations and a likely Q&A session for investors, the most pressing issue on the agenda is a vote to require that the position of Chairman of Tesla's board of directors be filled by an independent party.

Tesla's stock is down about 7 percent year-to-date.

CEO Elon Musk took the moment to double down on his vow that Tesla will achieve profitability later this year, declaring he was "expecting positive GAAP net income and positive cash flow in Q3 and Q4".

The two positions are often held by the same person in U.S. companies, unlike in United Kingdom firms.

Tesla will announce as soon as next month a combined battery production and vehicle assembly Gigafactory in Shanghai, China.

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