Tesla Falls Short of Model 3 Production Numbers

Tesla pushes out 9766 Model 3s in Q1 2018, sets ambitious Q2 goal

Tesla shares fall on worries about Model 3 production rate

(TSLA) announced its highly anticipated quarterly results Tuesday, sending shares up 6% despite the company missing production targets for its first mass-market vehicle, the Model 3 sedan.

The Tesla bears, meanwhile, can point to yet another production milestone missed for the Model 3.

In total, 4,060 Model S and X, and 2,040 Model 3 vehicles were in transit to customers by the end of the first quarter and the company says these vehicles will be delivered early in the second quarter.

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Overall, signs of recovery from Tesla's stocks were evident during pre-hours trading on Tuesday. On the positive side this is indeed a massive increase compared to the quarter ending in December 2017.

Unfortunately for many, they come with a correspondingly high price (the cheapest available Model S variant lists at $131,00 in NSW, with typical options likely to push the price much higher). Tesla says this accomplishment will highlight the fact that Model 3 production exceeds that of the Model S and Model X.

Given the progress made thus far and upcoming actions for further capacity improvement, we expect that the Model 3 production rate will climb rapidly through Q2.

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Wall Street analysts that have seen Tesla shares plunge by 33 percent over the past six months were not impressed with Musk's stunt, and warned the company may be in default of its credit agreement and be forced to raise cash at firesale prices. "Any such "beat" is unlikely to be sustainable, and questions remain on Tesla's ability to sustainably reach 2,500 a week, let alone 5,000 a week". With a sample size of a only a week, its possible the automaker pulled forward bottleneck inventory from the coming weeks or utilized additional shifts from either Model S or Model X workers to reach the output number it quoted. "The initial customer satisfaction score for Model 3 quality", the company said, "is above 93%, which is the highest score in Tesla's history".

But Tesla Motors now claims production improvements are generating enough cash flow that the company will not need to raise any new cash in 2018.

The company's shares have fallen in the past week amid speculation over its finances and a fatal USA auto crash. In a research note Tuesday, analysts at JPMorgan recommended selling Tesla stock on the earnings upswing, viewing the pop on production progress as a ideal time to lock in profits and get out. Tesla will report its earnings on or near May 2nd and be sure to look for our coverage and analysis immediately after results are in.

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