They say not to bring your work home with you, but what about bringing your home to work? Elon Musk is doing just that, saying on Monday that he is back to sleeping at the factory in an attempt to fix the production woes at Tesla’s mass-market Model 3.
In a Twitter exchange on Monday, Musk quashed rumors that Tesla’s Vice President of Engineering Doug Field has fallen out of grace, and tweeted that as chief executive, he is focusing on the most critical issues, which currently is the Model 3 production, while Field is focused on vehicle engineering.
“About a year ago, I asked Doug to manage both engineering & production. He agreed that Tesla needed eng & prod better aligned, so we don’t design cars that are crazy hard to build. Right now, tho, better to divide & conquer, so I’m back to sleeping at factory. Car biz is hell …” Musk tweeted.
Tesla—which just went through a very bad month on the stock market, losing 22 percent—started the month of April equally disappointing, dropping more than 5 percent on Monday ahead of today’s first-quarter delivery numbers, which some feared would shed an ugly light on how tough the “production hell” for the Model 3 has been.
When it reported 2017 figures in February, Tesla said that it continued to target weekly Model 3 production rates of 2,500 by the end of Q1 and 5,000 by the end of Q2. Related: Are We Sleepwalking Into The Next Oil Crisis?
In an email to employees, obtained by Electrek, Musk has recently said that “It has been extremely difficult to pass the 2000 cars per week rate for Model 3, but we are finally there. If things go as planned today, we will comfortably exceed that number over a seven-day period!”
This is below the 2,500-per-week target by the end of Q1, and both bull and bear analysts widely expected the company to miss that target when it reports Q1 delivery numbers later today. Tesla produced 9,766 Model 3s in Q1, according to Tesla’s quarterly production figures reported today, below some analyst expectations but above others. The one thing that analysts got right is that Tesla did indeed miss its self-imposed production targets for the Model 3.
Still, Tesla shares jumped after the production figure releases.
Elon Musk’s April Fools’ tweets joked about Tesla going bankrupt, but analysts aren’t joking when they say that the company may have to tap capital markets before the end of the year to raise financing because it continues to burn a lot of cash. With the continuous Model 3 ‘production hell’, Tesla is likely to find fresh funding more expensive and more difficult to get, according to analysts.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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