Tesla Misses a Target, But Progress Eases Concerns

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Any discussion of Tesla inevitably turns to the question of its production capacity. Total production over the quarter was 9,766 Model 3s, an average of 800 per week. The company spent most of the fourth quarter of 2017 addressing its bottleneck problems, and came out with confidence that the problems have mostly been resolved and would be good to go beginning 2018. Right now, tho, better to divide & conquer, so I'm back to sleeping at factory.

Some analysts said there were signs that the company might have prioritized the cheaper vehicle, seen as crucial to its profitability, over its Model X SUV and more-established and expensive Model S sedan.

Tesla's partner, Panasonic, has more than 300 workers producing solar panels and cells at the Buffalo factory, but Tesla has been much slower to add employees for its part of the factory, where it will focus on a new solar roof that looks like a conventional house roof but has solar cells inside. "This is the fastest growth of any automotive company in the modern era".

Tesla claimed in its statement that "if this rate of growth continues, it will exceed even that of Ford and the Model T".

But to surpass the man who created the assembly line, Tesla must master the process.

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Right-hand drive production of the Model 3 is still scheduled to commence in 2019 according to the company's website, which means Australians should start to see their orders then. In January, this target was pushed back until the end of the second quarter.

Tesla shares sold short now stand at 31.5 million, or 25 percent of freely available shares, according to the financial data company.

Losing even a small number of sales could be problematic, however, as the Model 3 carries a far smaller profit margin than the bigger and far more costly Models S and X, industry analysts have noted.

Hundreds of thousands of people have pre-ordered the Model 3 and are eagerly awaiting delivery. 4,060 Model S and X vehicles were on their way to customers at the end of Q1, which was 68% higher than at the end of Q4 2017. Take Tesla, where a reports of the company running out of cash, plummeting stock prices, and a recent Tesla Model S recall affecting 123,000 vehicles have sent investors into a panicked spiral.

American EV maker EV has reported its most productive quarter in its history. The Californian auto company has been under the spotlight over just how quickly it can ramp up production of its most affordable vehicle, the Model 3, after Tesla conceded that its initial goal had been too aggressive. Musk coupled his tweets with an image of him holding a torn cardboard box of a Tesla Wall Connector with the words "Bankwupt!" written on it. Last week, it confirmed that a Model X involved in a fatal crash was running the semi-autonomous Autopilot system at the time of the collision, drawing the attention of federal investigators. The exchange, with a reporter at The Information, a tech and business news site, followed a story by the outlet that Musk had taken over Model 3 production from Tesla's head of engineering, Doug Field.

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