Tesla says produced 2020 Model 3 sedans last week

NTSB is ‘unhappy’ about Tesla publicly disclosing details of fatal crash		
		
	Megan Rose Dickey

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Analysts from brokerage Evercore ISI said a run-rate of 2,000 per week, while short of the 2,500 target, was better than most on Wall Street had expected and clearly showed progress versus where the company was at the start of the year.

Despite all the production hell and cash flow concerns in the first quarter, Tesla has announced plans to build a new truck and a roadster sports auto, and to build a factory in China.

"You have to have a finished vehicle rolling off the line every couple of minutes", said Mark Wakefield, global co-head of automotive and industrial at AlixPartners, a consulting firm.

The company built 34,494 vehicles during 2018's first quarter - 9,766 of which were Model 3s. Among this number, 11,730 were Model S, 10,070 were Model X, and 8,180 were Model 3.

"The strategy of Tesla is to enter at the high end of the market, where customers are prepared to pay a premium", Elon Musk wrote over a decade ago, "and then drive down market as fast as possible to higher unit volume and lower prices with each successive model".

Tesla's literal master plan for making electric vehicles common hinges on the old principle of economies of scale. For comparison, Telsa also produced 11,730 Model S cars and 10,070 Model X cars this spring, totaling nearly 30,000 vehicles.

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Of course, that would also mean intense storms elsewhere and potentially droughts , so it's not exactly a win, regardless. Puerto Rico continues to recover from Maria, which knocked out power for hundreds of thousands of residents.

It is understandable that Musk would be happy that March 2018 was finally over. The company says it expects to make 2,000 Model 3s over the next week. Achieving this production rate could allow Tesla to improve gross margins and operating cash flows significantly.

Last week, Barclays analyst Brian Johnson warned investors to be wary of a brief "burst rate" of Model 3 production that was not sustainable.

The firm said a series of short shutdowns had enabled it to address production and supply chain bottlenecks, allowing it to increase Model 3 production "exponentially".

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.

The production shortfall comes at a bad time for the company, which is facing a federal investigation into a recent fatal crash involving Autopilot, its driver assistance system, and the voluntary recall of 123,000 Model S sedans announced last week. The company's stock price has dropped by more than a quarter over the past three weeks, according to a WikiTribune analysis. Given Tesla's history, we'll believe it when we see it.

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