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Can Tesla Bounce Back From Disastrous Model 3 Launch?

Musk goes on the defensive.

by on Nov.02, 2017

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the company is still working on the bottlenecks that have hampered Model 3 production, crimping Tesla earnings.

When Tesla officially rolled the first of its new Model 3 sedans down the assembly line in mid-July it was billed as a historic moment. It was not only the California EV-maker’s first mainstream model, but also marked the first time Tesla had met its original production schedule, the previous launch of the Model X coming two years late.

Less than four months later, however, it’s clear that things haven’t been running as smoothly as Tesla and its CEO Elon Musk would like. The Model 3 line at the company’s Fremont, California, plant is barely moving, with workers frequently having to sub for stalled automation systems. That contributed to a record $619 million loss for the third quarter, the numbers far worse than even Wall Street’s increasingly pessimistic analysts had forecast.

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But is this just a “flash in the pan,” as Tesla executives insisted during a Wednesday evening conference call, a temporary setback that will soon be overcome, or is it the sort of critical failure that could have a much longer impact on Tesla’s health? (more…)