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gpolit.com January 20, 2018


Tesla Model 3 delay raises cashflow risks, but analysts upbeat

06 January 2018, 01:40 | Camille Rivera

The car used for the journey. Image Alex Roy Twitter

The car used for the journey.
Image Alex Roy  Twitter

She noted that if Tesla achieves its pushed-back goal of producing 5,000 Model 3 sedans a week by the end of the second quarter, that would equal 20,000 Model 3s per month, and Tesla just completed a three-month quarter in which it made 29,870 vehicles total, including its mainstay Model S sedan and Model X SUV.

Tesla shares fell as much as 3.6 per cent to US$305.68, the biggest intraday drop in five weeks.

Model 3 production rate exiting 4Q17 easily 50% above our pace of delivery forecast for 1Q. Critics point out that the company's unprecedented rush to ramp up production puts it at risk of delays and costly recalls if quality issues arise. He projects the company will burn through US$4.2 billion this year and assumes the company will raise US$2.5 billion through an equity offering, likely during the third quarter. The carmaker has been blowing through more than US$1 billion ($1.4b) a quarter as it's had trouble scaling up output despite spending heavily on robots, assembly lines and tooling for the sedan that is Musk's cheapest yet, starting at US$35,000. "They don't have a ton of wiggle room though in our view", Spak said. For the year gone by, Tesla delivered 102,432 vehicles, a solid increase from the 83,922 vehicles it delivered in 2016. But early versions of the Model 3 suffered battery quality problems, and it's not clear whether those have been sufficiently resolved.

Estimates for Model 3 deliveries varied wildly, coming in as low as 800 from Colin Rusch of Oppenheimer all the way up to 2,250 from Jeffrey Osborne of Cowen & Co., and about 5,800 from analysts at Evercore.

"We're also very appreciative of our Model 3 customers, who continue to stick by us while patiently waiting for their cars".

Tesla said on Wednesday it shipped 1,550 Model 3 cars to customers in the fourth quarter of 2017, with another 860 Model 3 cars in transit to customers. Analysts had expected total deliveries of about 30,000.

Tesla said on Wednesday its production rate had increased significantly despite the delays.

Tesla will start producing 2,500 Model 3s weekly by the end of the first quarter of the year, the company said in yet another update that disappointed thousands of people who have preordered the vehicle as well as investors, sending its shares down by 2 percent after hours. But Tesla has skipped many incremental steps used by established carmakers when launching new products. A conventional auto factory operating at full speed on two shifts can churn out almost 1,000 vehicles a day. Tesla produced 2,425 sedans during the period. Even though Tesla executives promised that things would be different with the Model 3, Tesla this week revealed that it was once again pushing back its production schedule for the Model 3.

Previously, Tesla was trying to manufacture Model 3s at that rate sometime in 2017.



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