Musk's Spotty Prophetic Record Muddles Tesla's Assurance on Cash

The Model X than crashed in California.    KTVU via Associated Press

In November, he warned an analyst against setting his watch by his "rough target" to start Tesla vehicle production in China in about three years. Estimates are from analysts that the company has a few months more to live, given its cash reserves, before the firm will be forced to tap equity or debt markets once again. Tesla says this accomplishment will highlight the fact that Model 3 production exceeds that of the Model S and Model X. The carmaker said it won't need to raise more funds this year by selling stock or issuing debt, which would help mitigate cash balance concerns.

Invest wisely, my friends.

Tesla's milestone of producing 2,020 Model 3 in a week was the result of the company's efforts to ramp-up production during the quarter.

Tesla has admitted that trying to improve Model 3 production required moving resources off the luxury Model S and Model X assembly lines.

"It has been extremely hard to pass the 2,000 cars per week rate for Model 3, but we are finally there". This includes both production delays and the delay of high-profile options such as all-wheel drive and the standard battery which will finally enable the Model 3 to hit its highly touted $35,000 price tag.

In a statement, Tesla said that it produced 34,494 vehicles in the first quarter of 2018, comprising 24,728 Model S and X cars, plus 9766 Model 3s.

Q1 deliveries totaled 29,980 vehicles, of which 11,730 were Model S, 10,070 were Model X, and 8,180 were Model 3.

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 electric-car maker missed its production targets in the first-quarter. This comes at a perilous time for Tesla amidst a whirlwind of negative news. We can safely assume that no-one in the Tesla factory took holidays in the last fortnight.

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

Competition isn't far behind, with Jaguar's i-Pace launching in early March at the high end, and the Model 3 facing the Chevrolet Bolt (launched last year), and a large number of similar long-range alternatives (including the Nissan LEAF 230-mile range version, Hyundai Kona EV, Kia Niro EV and Audi eTron) in 2018.

Tesla shares are now bouncing back on Tuesday, trading up 4.27% to $263.32 per share as of writing.

The production numbers, while short of Tesla's own target, are far above the 793 Model 3s built in the final week of previous year.

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