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Tesla has been making headlines these days because of the investigations into two accident involving Tesla cars, one of them with a fatal result. The company however may have to deal with much bigger problems than whether its autopilot is safe or not very.
Reuters reports that the electric vehicle maker has discontinued a car buyback program that guaranteed buyers they could resell their Model S or Model X to Tesla within three years of purchasing them at no less than 50 percent of the original price.
The news comes on the heel of a warning that the sales target for the second quarter will again miss projections. In the first quarter of 2016, the carmaker shipped 14,820 cars instead of the projected 16,000 cars. The company said at the time that the discrepancy was due to a major shortage in component parts, but that issue was solved before March.
The second-quarter missed sales target warning that Reuters says Tesla posted earlier this month may have more to do with disappointing demand than anything else, as Tesla also cut the base price for the Model S and launched a lower-price version of the Model X.
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Tesla has announced that over the next 12 months it has enough cash to buy back just 4,209 cars – which amounts to US$192.4 million in total at US$45,711 per car, Reuters has calculated. At the same time, at end-March this year, the total liabilities Tesla had accrued from its buyback guarantee program US$1.58 billion.
In addition to the investigation that focuses on its autopilot program, Tesla is also the target of a Securities and Exchange Commission probe that wants to find out if the company concealed the information about the fatal crash from its investors when it placed US$1.4 billion in new shares in May.
Now, sales are continually falling short of expected demand, and cash is tight. Amid all this, Tesla is planning to acquire SolarCity.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for the U.S.-based Divergente LLC consulting firm with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.