Published: Thu, May 03, 2018
Hi-Tech | By Kristin Zimmerman

Tesla's cash stockpile shrank by $700 million last quarter

Tesla's cash stockpile shrank by $700 million last quarter

The losses mount as production of the Model 3 - Tesla's first mass market vehicle with a starting price of $35,000 - has been dogged by manufacturing issues. And the company has said that will mean automating much of the process. Corporate insiders own 23.10% of the company's stock.

On Wednesday, the tracker estimated Tesla has hit 2,050 Model 3's per week. "We're going to scrub the barnacles on that front".

"We now expect to reach a module production rate of 5,000 auto sets per week even before we install the new automated line designed and built by Tesla in Germany", the company said.

"Fluffbots continuously failed to pick up the fluff".

On the call, Musk described a world in which people share their cars, offering them as either a Lyft, an Uber or something like a Lyft/Uber-Airbnb combo "where you can own your auto and have 100 percent usage of your vehicle", Musk said, and specify that it's available to anyone who wants to use it while you're not using it.

With bottlenecks in body and battery production since solved, Musk expects Tesla Model 3 production, which averaged above 2,000 units per week before the automaker's planned mid-April shutdown, and topped out at 2,270 per week in the last of those weeks, to reach 3,000 per week within three months.

Even after Tesla CEO Elon Musk stated that humans were "underrated" and that "excessive automation at Tesla was a mistake", Tesla is largely crediting quality improvements to their highly-automated production.

The adjusted loss per share was US$3.35, against expectations of US$3.42 on a revenue of US$3.32 billion.

In April, Tesla said it would not need to return to markets for more capital because it expected to generate cash from sales of the Model 3.

"No, I specifically do not want to", Musk replied.

Efraim Levy, a financial analyst at CFRA, said in a note reacting to Tesla's earnings that CFRA's "initial impression is mixed". Buyers plunk down $1,000 to reserve a Model 3.

"What percentage of your reservations have taken the next step to configure" their Model 3s, Spak asked.

The call then moved onto questions from retail investors on YouTube.

Then Tesla forecast 10,000 Model 3s per month at the end of the first quarter. The Tesla apparently would drive itself for riders, or between Airbnb-style loans. As soon as one is built there is a waiting customer. If regulations were changed to allow it, the Robo-Lyft would be available by the end of 2019, he said. "They should be writing the story of how autonomous technology is safe". Here's a closer look at Musk's many ventures and projects. Musk scoffed at the upcoming Porsche Mission E's charger, saying "a 350-killowatt charger actually doesn't make a heck of a lot of sense".

He added that it is "high time we became profitable". Excluding one-time expenses such as stock-based compensation, the company lost $3.35 per share.

Tesla reported a $709.6-million net loss for the third quarter of 2018, compared with a $675.4-million loss in the fourth quarter of '17, and a $330.3-million loss in the first quarter of a year ago.

Tesla's service and gross loss increased to $118 million U.S. and operating expenses increased by to $1.05 billion, up 14% from the first quarter of 2017 and up 2% from the most recent quarter.

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