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Tesla came to the brink of bankruptcy before it launched the Model 3, chief executive Elon Musk said in a Twitter conversation.
In a thread started to commemorate a $40-million fundraiser for the carmaker in 2008, in response to the question “How close was Tesla from bankruptcy when bringing the Model 3 to mass production?” Musk said that for a month, Tesla was teetering on the edge.
The Model 3 was what Musk’s ultimate plan for Tesla had been about: an affordable electric car that everyone would want to buy. As he said on the Twitter thread, and as everyone who follows Tesla remembers, the months leading up to the launch were hectic, to put it mildly. The launch was delayed several times, there were problems with the manufacturing of the vehicles, and in the end, few remained confident that Tesla would succeed.
To date, the Model 3 is the most sold EV in Europe and also the most popular one in the world, at least as of August, when sales of the car topped 31,000. Over the first eight months of the year, Tesla sold 196,106 Model 3s globally.
Thanks to these strong sales, Tesla has been reporting profits for five quarters in a row now. It has plans for a new gigafactory in Germany, which the company recently said may be ready to start operations ahead of schedule. It also has plans to deliver as many as 1 million cars to customers in 2021.
In its most recent financial report, Tesla reported revenues of $8.77 billion and profits of $331 million. Earnings per share exceeded analyst forecasts, hitting $0.76 versus expectations of $0.57 per share. While most of the profits were the result of strong car sales, the bottom line was helped by Tesla’s regulatory credit business, which turned out stronger than expected.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com