Tesla posts $3.4bn in revenue, aims 5,000 cars a week

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San Francisco, May 3 (IANS) Aiming to ramp up its production targets to 5,000 cars a week, Elon Musk-run Tesla has reported revenue of $3.4 billion for the first quarter of 2018, saying that Model 3 production hit 2,270 a week in April.

Tesla’s cash balance dropped but the US-based electric vehicle automaker ended with $2.7 billion in cash.

“We made significant progress on the Model 3 ramp in the second half of Q1, and the momentum continued into early Q2. Prior to a planned shutdown in mid-April to further increase production, we produced more than 2,000 Model 3 vehicles for three straight weeks, and we hit 2,270 in the last of those weeks,” Tesla said in a shareholder letter late on Wednesday.

“Even at this stage of the ramp, Model 3 is already on the cusp of becoming the best-selling mid-sized premium sedan in the US, and our deliveries continue to increase,” the letter read.

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According to Re/Code, the company lost $710 million on $3.4 billion in revenue as it struggled to meet the production goals for its mass-market vehicle Model 3.

Tesla was aimimg at producing 2,500 cars a week by March-end but ended up making only 2,270 cars a week in April.

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

“Once we hit the 5,000 per week milestone, we intend to incorporate our learnings to continue to increase output on our existing manufacturing lines beyond 5,000 units per week, and then in a capital efficient manner to add incremental capacity to ultimately get to a 10,000 unit weekly rate,” the letter said.

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In Q1, Tesla produced 24,728 Model S and Model X and 9,766 Model 3 vehicles, and delivered 21,815 Model S and Model X vehicles and 8,182 Model 3 vehicles — totalling 29,997 deliveries.

Musk has already told his staff that he expects “to reach full GAAP profitability in the third and fourth quarters of 2018. Achieving that will depend significantly on whether the company can produce 5,000 ‘Model 3s’ a week.”

In his recent email, Musk said the company will add 400 people per week at both factories for several weeks to meet the ambitious production goals.

Musk has also admitted that his electric vehicle-making company has been too reliant on robots for production and the human workforce is underrated.

“Yes, excessive automation at Tesla was a mistake. To be precise, my mistake. Humans are underrated,” Musk tweeted last month.

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Tesla reported a record loss of $675.4 million — $4.01 per share — on a revenue of $3.29 billion in the fourth quarter of 2017.

–IANS

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