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undergroundnewsroom.com April 25, 2018


Tesla Misses Model 3 Production Target for First Quarter

06 April 2018, 02:03 | Clyde Nash

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Evercore isn't the only sell-side firm with newfound caution following Tesla's miss of Model 3 production targets.

The news isn't entirely rosy as Tesla confirmed nearly all Model 3 cancellations have been the result of delays. Tesla shares are trading at $274 apiece Wednesday morning.

Heading into the final week of the quarter, a Tesla executive urged line workers at the company's sole auto-assembly plant in Fremont, California, to safely ramp up Model 3 output to more than 300 a day and "prove a bunch of haters wrong".

Tesla Inc. fortunes took another hit following a rocky weekend which saw the electric automaker's stock price (NASDAQ: TSLA) fall just over five percent when markets reopened on April 2, with investors anxious about the company's finances and production capabilities.

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. Tesla's production forecasts have been over-optimistic and generally lowered and delayed over time.

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.

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Tesla's stocks (NASDAQ: TSLA) are bouncing back after the company released its first quarter production and delivery report, which listed a 40% increase in production from Q4 2017. According to Jefferies, there is a "high probability that management and the (Tesla) Board will take more drastic action on guidance and funding to restore credibility" after the company releases its Q1 2018 production numbers.

"So if they're on track, even 2,500 units per week within the next few weeks or months still puts them relatively close to their initial guide and well on the way of being cash flow sufficient by means of the Model 3". He agreed that Tesla needed eng & prod better aligned, so we don't design cars that are insane hard to build.

But because of repeated failures to meet past production milestones, credit rating agency Moody's downgraded Tesla's credit rating last week.

Margins have been questioned but should be fixed once volume increases, and there are worries about the recent cobalt and lithium price surge affecting battery costs.

The company built 34,494 vehicles during 2018's first quarter - 9,766 of which were Model 3s.

In the end, it all comes down to whether Elon can keep all the balls in the air.



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