For more than eight months after the first Model 3 cars were delivered to buyers at the end of July 2017, Tesla has struggled to get Model 3 production rates up to the numbers promised by CEO Elon Musk. Tesla reported that for the last week of March production reached 2,020 models in the last seven day period of the month.
For Tesla Inc. investors, the question isn't whether Elon Musk will meet his diminished target this week for Model 3 auto production. Model 3 production represented a fourfold increase from the previous quarter, with production doubling during the quarter as supply-chain bottlenecks were addressed, Tesla said.
Tesla investors breathed a sigh of relief on Tuesday, pushing the company's share price up by 4 percent.
This story will be updated.
Another quarter, another disappointment for Tesla Inc.
The production numbers, while short of Tesla's own target, are far above the 793 Model 3s built in the final week of past year. "My job as CEO is to focus on what's most critical, which is now Model 3 production".
Net Model 3 reservations remained stable through the first-quarter. Tesla delivered 8,180 of the sedans in the first three months of the year, missing analysts' average estimate for about 8,800 units in a Bloomberg News survey.
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Late on Sunday, Tesla's co-founder, CEO, and product architect Musk tweeted, "Despite intense efforts to raise money, including a last-ditch mass sale of Easter Eggs, we are sad to report that Tesla has gone completely and totally bankrupt".
Losing even a small number of sales could be problematic, however, as the Model 3 carries a far smaller profit margin than the bigger and far more costly Models S and X, industry analysts have noted.
While that was enough to send shares higher and draw cheers from some analysts, not surprisingly it wasn't enough to mollify Tesla critics.
Despite recent declines, the price of Tesla's bonds still doesn't suggest concern among investors that the company faces an imminent liquidity crisis.
Investors and analysts have been closely monitoring Tesla's Model 3 production because the auto is seen as the company's gateway to financial stability. In its last earnings call, Tesla said it would produce 2,500 Model 3s per week by the end of Q1.
Moody's Investor Service downgraded Tesla's debt, stating, among other reasons, the pressure on the company for liquidity because of its negative cash flow. It's the company's first lower-cost, high-volume vehicle and is crucial to its goal of becoming a profitable, mainstream automaker.
Tesla didn't immediately confirm whether the photo was an extension of Musk's April Fools' joke or a hint toward future, Tesla-branded merchandise.