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Tesla misses weekly Model 3 production target, warns of trade war impact

03 October 2018

The results could prove to be a watershed moment for Musk, who jeopardized his future with Tesla by prematurely claiming he had the funding and investor support to take the carmaker private. Tesla announced today that it produced 55,239 Model 3 cars this quarter, meeting its self-assigned benchmark.

Tesla delivered, in total, 83,500 vehicles during its third quarter. The company said it delivered 14,470 Model S and 13,190 Model X; as with the Model 3, the company delivered a few more of the expensive luxury models than it built.

Some have speculated that Tesla's insistence on building its own enterprise resource planning system is at the root of this problem, which has led to much grousing from disgruntled customers on Twitter and at various Tesla forums.

Tesla has struggled to quickly boost production of the Model 3, a auto that is seen as critical to the upstart's growth plans.

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The electric auto maker said on Tuesday that it produced 80,142 vehicles in the third quarter - higher than expected and an increase of 50pc over the previous quarter. Musk and Tesla will each pay a $20 million fine.

However, Musk will remain as CEO of the company under the agreement made by the SEC. Hitting this metric is supposedly a key step to getting the company profitable, and while Tesla did produce a little over 5,000 Model 3 cars one week in June-proving its facilities are capable-the company seems to be struggling with other components of the manufacturing process.

Analysts hoped the deal, which enforces oversight of Musk's public communications, would put an end to several months of turmoil that has prevented investors from focusing on a business that churned out a reported 80,000 cars in the third quarter.

"We are very close to achieving profitability and proving the naysayers wrong, but, to be certain, we must execute really well tomorrow (Sunday)", Musk wrote in an email on September 30, according to a filing with the SEC.

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Tesla announced Tuesday that it delivered 55,843 Model 3s between July and September, confirming reports that the company's mass-market electric is the fifth bestselling auto model in the United States.

The numbers initially lifted Tesla shares but they fell later as investors anxious about the company's warning that a 40-percent tariff on Chinese imports of its cars was blocking sales in the world's biggest electric auto market.

The higher delivery than production numbers could indicate that Tesla is beginning to reduce the inventory that may be held on these lots. "Should be solved shortly".

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Tesla misses weekly Model 3 production target, warns of trade war impact