Apr 4, 2018 - Energy & Environment

Wounded Tesla stops the Wall Street bleeding

Tesla's newest Model 3 production numbers, while still short of its goals, were enough to help bolster the stock price by 6% on Tuesday after a brutal month.

Data: Money.net; Chart: Axios Visuals

Why it matters: Weaker results could have sent market confidence in the automaker reeling. But Tesla is hardly out of the woods. Analyst Karl Brauer of Kelley Blue Book pointed out that "scrutiny of the company’s inner-workings has never been higher."

  • "If Tesla can show consistent growth in volume the market will likely mirror that growth in stock price and overall investor confidence. But tolerance for the brand’s history of missed numbers is likely at an end," he said in a statement circulated to reporters.

ICYMI: The Silicon Valley automaker said yesterday that 2,020 of the mass-market electric sedans rolled off the line in the final week of the first quarter, still shy of the (already scaled-back) goal of 2,500 per week by the end of Q1.

  • However, the company expressed confidence that it could reach 5,000 per week this quarter and build from there.

Bright spot: Tesla reported that 8,180 Model 3s were delivered to customers in the first quarter, and per Bloomberg, that makes it the best-selling electric vehicle in the U.S., outpacing sales of Toyota Prius Prime plug-in hybrid and the Chevy Bolt.

Be smart: As my colleagues Alayna Treene and Steve LeVine pointed out in the Axios stream yesterday...

  • If CEO Elon Musk is to persuade the market to give him more money to build out his ambitious production targets — something most analysts expect him to do, despite the company saying yesterday it doesn't require more funding it doesn't require more funding — he must both sustain this higher production, and get his flagship Model 3s up to 5,000 a week.
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