Fri, Feb 09, 2018 - Page 10 News List

Tesla moves to ease concerns over Model 3

IN THE RED:After posting a record loss of US$675 million last quarter, the electric carmaker said it is moving to resolve production bottlenecks

AFP, NEW YORK

SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket lifts off from launch pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Tuesday.

Photo: AFP

A day after launching one of its cars into space, Tesla Inc moved to ease concerns on earth over production delays for its Model 3, the key to future growth for the star electric carmaker.

In its quarterly earnings update on Wednesday, the automaker led by entrepreneur Elon Musk said it is moving ahead toward its goal of producing 5,000 Model 3 vehicles per week by the end of the second quarter.

In a letter to shareholders, Musk said it has been difficult to get accurate forecasts for the car, a more affordable model for the automaker known for expensive vehicles.

“What we can say with confidence is that we are taking many actions to systematically address bottlenecks ... and these actions should result in our production rate significantly increasing during the rest of Q1 and through Q2,” Musk wrote.

Tesla reported a record loss of US$675 million last quarter, up from a net loss of US$121 million in the same period a year ago.

Adjusted fourth-quarter loss of US$3.04 per share was ahead of Wall Street’s estimated loss of US$3.15 per share, according to analysts polled by FactSet.

Revenue for the quarter was US$3.3 billion, which was in line with analysts’ forecasts.

Tesla lost US$1.96 billion for the full year, nearly three times its loss of US$675 million in 2016.

The company has never made a full-year profit since it went public in 2010.

Tesla shares nonetheless rose 1.7 percent in after-hours trade on Wednesday, on the upbeat assessment of production efforts.

In the quarter, Tesla delivered 29,967 vehicles, including 1,542 Model 3 vehicles.

The Model 3, with a starting price of US$35,000, is key to Tesla’s effort to becoming a mass producer and reshaping the automotive market. Its other cars sell for about twice that price.

On Tuesday, Musk’s other major company, SpaceX, launched a Tesla Roadster into space aboard a Falcon Heavy rocket.

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