Economy, Auto

Tesla Eases Cash Concerns With Promise of Model 3 Progress

Tesla Eases Cash Concerns With Promise of Model 3 ProgressTesla Eases Cash Concerns With Promise of Model 3 Progress

Tesla Inc. sees progress ahead for the mass-market sedan that keeps falling short of targets and said a capital raise will not be required this year, spurring a partial rebound for the electric-car maker’s battered shares and bonds.

The company led by Elon Musk built 2,020 Model 3 cars in the last seven days, trailing its target for a 2,500-unit rate for the final week of March. Tesla delivered 8,180 of the sedans in the first three months of the year, missing analysts’ average estimate for about 8,800 units, Bloomberg reported.

Despite the shortfall, Musk promised a speedy acceleration in the next three months. On April 3, Tesla shares opened up as much as 6.9% and rose 3.6% to $261.53 as of 10:52 a.m., regaining some ground after a 22% slump in March.

The lower-than-expected deliveries and production will intensify the debate over Musk’s ability to deliver on his quest to bring electric cars to the masses. Mounting liquidity pressures and challenges with Model 3 production prompted Moody’s Investors Service last week to cut the carmaker’s credit rating further into junk status, adding fuel to a selloff of the company’s bonds to all-time lows.

Heading into the production results, analysts at Jefferies Group LLC and Moody’s had estimated that Tesla may need to raise $2 billion to $3 billion in capital to continue to ramp up Model 3 output. The carmaker said Tuesday it will not “require an equity or debt raise this year, apart from standard credit lines.”

“We continue to believe Model 3 production has the ability to unlock answers calming some investors’ concerns around capital and our model and price target reflects confidence in Tesla’s ability to execute near-term,” Consumer Edge Research analyst Jamie Albertine wrote in a note to clients after the production numbers were released.

 “We were able to double the weekly Model 3 production rate during the quarter by rapidly addressing production and supply chain bottlenecks, including several short factory shutdowns to upgrade equipment,” Tesla said in a statement.

The company expects the Model 3 production rate will increase “rapidly” through the second quarter and said it will make 5,000 units a week in “about three months.”

Tesla delivered 11,730 Model S sedans and 10,070 Model X sport utility vehicles, with 4,060 Model S and X units in transit to customers at the end of the quarter. An additional 2,040 Model 3 electric cars were also in transit to buyers, it said.

Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints