Tesla posts new record quarterly loss - US$784.6mil

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An initial rally after Tesla released a letter from its CEO did not last, and the shares dropped during a odd and tense conference call. Joe Spak of RBC Capital Markets followed with an inquiry about how many Model 3 reservation holders were actually taking the step to configure their auto when invited to do so.

If improvements go to plan, Tesla will could begin showing profit in the second half of this year, he said.

"There's no question, there are ways we could have made the Model 3 production easier", said Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk, on a conference call to discuss the company's first-quarter results. We could not fit the Model Y production at Fremont. "They're killing me", Musk said after an analyst asked about Tesla 3 figures, while another analyst asked about capital requirement before also being cut off.

The electric vehicle manufacturer yesterday announced its first quarter result, which showed the company had posted its largest ever quarterly loss. However, that Model 3, with a shorter battery range, isn't expected to be on sale until next year, and most Model 3 cars now cost closer to $50,000.

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Tesla said it produced 2,270 Model 3s per week in the last week of April.

Musk argued on the call that there is "no question" that Autopilot reduces the chance of a driver getting in an accident, something both he and his company have often claimed in the past.

In Q2 2018, Tesla will shut down production for about 10 days as it tries to address bottlenecks across its production lines to increase production.

The automaker reported net losses of $784.6 million on revenue of $3.4 billion in the first three months of this year.

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To achieve profitability, Tesla will have to reverse what today amounts to a $22,584 pre-tax loss per vehicle built by the Silicon Valley company.

"This is primarily based on our ability to reach Model 3 production volume of 5,000 units per week", the company stated. Despite where it will be constructed, the Model Y "will be an assembling transformation", said Musk. The earnings themselves showed record losses and analysts are increasingly concerned with cash burn. "Unfortunately, we've heard and seen it all before, and at this point, I'll believe it when i see it".

Following the call, the value of Tesla shares dropped five per cent, wiping more than $2bn off the firm's market capitalisation.

Musk, 46, said he won't need to go back to equity or debt markets this year to seek additional funds for Tesla, but crossing Wall Street may be a bad idea.

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"We continue to target Model 3 production of approximately 5,000 per week in about two months, although our prior experience has demonstrated the difficulty of accurately forecasting specific production rates", Musk said.

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