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Despite Problems, Musk Promises Tesla Profit in Second Half of 2018

Stock up, but not everyone convinced.

by on Apr.13, 2018

CEO Elon Musk shown exiting the back seat of a Model 3 at its debut. Musk still needs to dig out of trouble caused by Model 3 delays.

It’s been a tough few weeks for Tesla, the battery-electric automaker again missing production targets, being accused of improperly firing nearly 1,000 factory workers and being scolded by federal safety regulators for its role in investigating a fatal crash involving its semi-autonomous Autopilot system.

But that has done little to dampen the enthusiasm of CEO Elon Musk. After earlier this week suggesting Model 3 production isn’t delayed but in a “time shift,” the South African-born exec on Friday tweeted a promise that Tesla will be both profitable and produce positive cash flow by the second half of this year.

Promises, Promises!

Musk’s latest tweet came in response to a harsh Twitter post by British news magazine The Economist, which warned Tesla would need to raise more cash this year. “The Economist used to be boring,” Musk responded, “but smart with a wicked dry wit. Now it’s just boring (sigh). Tesla will be profitable & cash flow+ in Q3 & Q4, so obv no need to raise money.”

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Tesla Hit With NLRB Complaint Over Mass Firings

Feds probe controversial firing of nearly 1,000 employees.

by on Apr.05, 2018

Tesla's Fremont plant has faced a series of problems over the last year.

The National Labor Relations Board has filed a formal complaint against Tesla, finding merit to a series of charges involving the company’s treatment of employees over the past months, including claims that union supporters were swept out in a mass firing.

Charges, cited by the NLRB, range from terminating employees in retaliation for engaging in union and/or protected activities to unlawful interrogations of union supporters. Many of the pro-union employees were fired last fall when Tesla dismissed nearly 1,000 employees for what it described as substandard job performance.

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Tesla has yet to file an answer to the complaint lodged by the NLRB but denied the allegations when the union fielded the charges last autumn. It will have to come up with a response before a trial date now set for June 11.

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Tesla Dismisses Model 3 Production Shortfall and Investors Appear to Agree

Production accelerating so fast it may soon “exceed even that of Ford and the Model T.”

by on Apr.03, 2018

Tesla's Elon Musk told investors the company will be closing in on higher production numbers for the Model 3.

Tesla on Tuesday confirmed that it again fell short of its production target for the much-delayed Model 3 sedan, though it also promised that the “production rate will climb rapidly” from the 2,000 battery-cars assembled each week in late March to 5,000 by the end of the second quarter.

Delays with the ramp-up of the Model 3, Tesla’s first mainstream offering, have been a nightmare for the California-based carmaker, plunging its first-quarter earnings deeply into the red and raising the specter of having to raise new equity to fund its ongoing operations. But after a sharp plunge in its stock over the past month, investors appear to be taking solace in the latest production figures, Tesla shares surging by more than 3% in late morning trading.

Plug In Now!

Tesla played up the positive in a statement Tuesday, despite missing its production target. It cited “the progress made thus far” as “laying the groundwork” for a strong third quarter. “As a result, Tesla does not require an equity or debt raise this year, apart from standard credit lines.” (more…)

Tesla Again Misses Production Target for Model 3

Output up, still 20% short of goal, according to Musk e-mail.

by on Apr.02, 2018

Tesla is finally ramping up Model 3 production but still has a long way to go to meet targets.

Tesla shares took another 5% tumble on Monday after reports surfaced that the automaker once again missed its production targets for the much-delayed Model 3 battery-sedan.

Delays in the roll-out have hammered Tesla’s balance sheet, with some analysts expecting the California carmaker to have to go back for another fundraising round. It didn’t help to have Elon Musk post an April Fool’s Day joke indicating the automaker would be declaring bankruptcy.

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In an e-mal sent to Tesla workers on Monday, Musk said production of the Model 3 had reached the 2,000 per week mark at the end of the first quarter, but that is still short of the 2,500 target Tesla had projected back around the beginning of the year, and it is even more substantially behind the original target Tesla had laid out when Model 3 production began in July 2017.

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Tesla Recalling Half of All Cars It Has Ever Built

Latest setback affects half of all vehicles company has ever built.

by on Mar.30, 2018

Tesla's Model S has now faced three recalls.

Tesla has announced that it is recalling 123,000 Model S sedans, almost half of all the vehicles it has produced since going into business.

The move, signaled by a letter sent to customers Thursday, was triggered by problems with steering bolts that could cause the failure of the power steering system on vehicles built prior to April 2016.

Breaking News!

This is at least the third instance in which Tesla had to recall a sizable share of its products due to a safety-related problem. Service actions have become more commonplace in recent years as manufacturers have come under pressure to quickly address safety problems. But the new Tesla move is significant both for its size and due to the fact that the automaker has been experiencing a series of setbacks, including the loss of roughly a third of its value in the stock market in recent weeks.

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Tesla Faces a Stock Market Freefall Over Growing Model 3, Crash and Cash Flow Concerns

“Reality is setting in,” as shares fall by a third from 52-week high.

by on Mar.29, 2018

Tesla CEO Musk has repeatedly been caught missing production targets on vehicles like the Model 3.

Tesla stock is getting pummeled by investors over growing concerns about the company’s cash coffers, a crash that is raising serious concerns about its vaunted Autopilot technology, and the ongoing “manufacturing hell” at the automaker’s assembly plant in Fremont, California.

TSLA shares briefly crashed through their 52-week low Thursday morning before staging a modest rebound. But the once high-flying stock has clearly been wounded and is now running about a third below its 52-week high.

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“Reality is setting in,” said Joe Phillippi, head of AutoTrends Consulting, and a long-time Wall Street automotive analyst. Investors, he said, “were banking on increased earnings…once they got their manufacturing system fixed. It was going to be a no-brainer.”

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Elon Musk is “Dying to Build” a Pickup

Tweets it will follow launch of Model Y compact SUV.

by on Dec.27, 2017

A rendering shows the Tesla pickup which bears a strong resemblance to the Tesla Semi.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the battery-carmaker is moving forward on plans to bring a pickup truck to market – though he said it will have to wait until the launch of a new compact electric SUV to be called the Model Y.

Musk has been hinting about a pickup for some time, and said in a series of tweets that he is “dying to build it.” The basic design has been something the South African-born entrepreneur said he’s been working on for almost five years.

Electrifying News!

A rendering of a possible pickup was revealed in mid-November during Tesla’s preview of its planned Semi truck and Roadster models. When asked earlier this year how the Tesla pickup might compare with the Ford F-150 Musk said it would be of “similar total size.”

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And For My Next Trick: Tesla’s Musk Suggests New Roadster May Be Able to Fly

Pushing the envelope or seeking a diversion amidst financial struggles.

by on Nov.20, 2017

Tesla CEO unveiled the new Roadster last week.

What happens when the head of your car company also runs a rocket business? If that person happens to be CEO Elon Musk he hints that the new, $200,000 Roadster Tesla unveiled last week also may be able “to fly for short hops” if a buyer opts for a “special upgrade.”

Musk isn’t the only one who envisions flying cars. A number of firms are working on that concept, including European aerospace giant Airbus. But the Sunday tweet by the Tesla CEO adds another twist to the tale of a company that not only is building cars but batteries, stationary power systems and solar cells. Musk is also the boss at SpaceX, the rocket company that has been supplying the International Space Station and soon plans to start launching humans into space under contract for NASA.

Behind the News!

Whether the latest tweet is serious is a question generating plenty of buzz across the Internet. While Musk’s many fans seem to believe he’s capable of just about anything, skeptics are asking whether the hint of a flying Tesla Roadster might be meant to divert attention away from the carmaker’s struggles – which include a disastrous third-quarter loss and ongoing problems getting the new Model 3 into volume production.

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Musk Promises New Tesla Roadster Will Be World’s Fastest Production Car. “Period.”

“A hardcore smackdown” for gas-powered sports cars.

by on Nov.17, 2017

Is this going to be the fastest production car ever?

Forget the Dodge Demon. Don’t bother with the new 5,000 hp Devel Sixteen. If what Elon Musk revealed late Thursday night has any bearing on reality, the world of performance is about to change. “Period.”

Officially, Tesla had promised the evening would finally bring the twice-delayed unveiling of the company’s new Semi truck, an 18-wheeler meant to offer a clean alternative to traditional diesel rigs. But CEO Musk had something in his back pocket, and when the trailer of one of those big trucks opened up, out popped a sleek, cherry red 2+2.

Charge!

“People have been asking us when we’re going to make a new Roadster,” said Musk. “We’re making it now.”

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Tesla Hit by Lawsuit, Called “Hotbed for Racist Behavior”

Tesla responds.

by on Nov.15, 2017

Tesla's Fremont plant has been at the center of numerous discrimination lawsuits this year.

(We’ve updated the story to reflect comments from Tesla on the new lawsuit.)

Tesla has been hit with another lawsuit over the working environment at its Fremont, California assembly plant, this one alleging the factory is a “hotbed for racist behavior.”

The battery-carmaker, which bills itself as a progressive force for change in the auto industry, has been hit by several previous lawsuits, including one alleging sexual harassment and gender discrimination on the factory floor. The latest, brought as a class-action, claims black workers were targeted by racial slurs and that Tesla did not act in response to their complaints.

Electrifying News!

Tesla sent a response to TheDetroitBureau.com on Wednesday that contended the lawsuit is a “hotbed of misinformation.” The automaker asserted it “is absolutely against any form of discrimination, harassment, or unfair treatment of any kind,” and contends that when it was advised of racial tensions between groups of African-American and Hispanic workers it stepped in and ultimately discharged three employees.

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