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Tesla aims to build 6,000 Model 3s per week by late August

02 August 2018

Electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc. burned through $739.5 million in cash last quarter, paving the way to a company record $717.5 million net loss as it cranked out more electric cars.

But Tesla shares actually rose by about 4 percent on speculation it will turn profitable before the year's end.

The net loss of $717.5m (£547.6m) more than doubled that from the same period past year, and was slightly larger than the first quarter loss. Adjusted for stock-based compensation, the company lost $US3.06 per share. In Q2, Tesla delivered a total of 40,768 cars, out of which the Model 3 accounted for 18,449 deliveries.

Minutes later, Spak came on to ask a question, and Musk again said he was sorry for being "impolite" on the last call.

Tesla reported larger than expected losses for the second quarter of 2018 on Wednesday, but it exceeded analyst expectations with $4bn in revenue.

Tesla shares were up over 8 percent at $325.30 in after-market trading on Wednesday.

Despite a rocky first half - ncluding missed manufacturing targets, a downgrade of its debt and a recent report showing the company took the unusual step of asking suppliers to refund money on payments already made - Tesla's stock has been resilient.

A Tesla Model 3
Camera IconA Tesla Model 3

The company said it maintained its level of production, producing 5,000 Model 3s in a week multiple times in July.

The company cut its capital spending plans and said it would not hit its long-term rate of producing 10,000 Model 3s per week until next year, a trade-off that may soothe concerns it needs to raise more cash fast. But it ended up with $2.2 billion in cash at the end of June - way more than most had feared.

Net loss attributable to common shareholders for the April-June quarter amounted to $717.5 million, or $4.22 per share, which was more than some analysts expected.

"Due to the density of the line and the relatively high downtime of the lifters, ramping [main general assembly line] GA3 became substantially more complicated than we had anticipated", the company noted.

Sustainability and profitability will be key yardsticks in the quarter ahead. The company has never turned an annual profit and has had only two profitable quarters since becoming public in 2010.

After quietly upgrading its semi-autonomous driving suite, Autopilot, almost a year ago, Tesla has been working hard on its next-generation hardware. Analysts were projecting Tesla would go through about US$900 million during the period, after burning more than US$1 billion in three of the previous four quarters.

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Tesla aims to build 6,000 Model 3s per week by late August