Apr 16, 2018

Elon Musk keeps raising the stakes for Tesla

Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Photo: Mark Brake/Getty Images

Tesla's first-quarter earnings call in a couple weeks just got even more interesting. On Friday Musk shot back via Twitter at The Economist over their story headlined "Tesla is heading for a cash crunch," which cited analyst predictions that Tesla will need to raise more money from capital markets: "Tesla will be profitable & cash flow+ in Q3 & Q4, so obv no need to raise money," Musk tweeted.

Why this matters: It's a bold claim because profitable quarters have been extraordinarily rare in the company's history.

Production pledge: Musk's widely circulated CBS News interview Friday included this claim: "We'll probably have, I don't know, a three or four-fold increase in Model 3 output in the second quarter."

  • The big picture: Musk's comment signals confidence that the recent increase in production — which cracked 2,000 per week at the end of the second quarter — can be maintained and significantly improved. It comes after Goldman Sachs analysts argued that the rate is not sustainable.
  • Oops: Musk admitted to CBS that automated production fueled Model 3 delays, and he was more direct on Twitter, stating, "Yes, excessive automation at Tesla was a mistake... my mistake. Humans are underrated."

The bottom line: Musk isn’t letting a string of setbacks temper his bold promises, even though more failures to deliver could shake investor confidence.

Go deeper: Via the Wall Street Journal, "How Tesla’s Elon Musk Makes a Strategy Out of Defiance."

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2:30 p.m. ET: 826,222 — Total deaths: 40,708 — Total recoveries: 174,115.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in confirmed cases. Total confirmed cases as of 2:30 p.m. ET: 174,467 — Total deaths: 3,416— Total recoveries: 6,000.
  3. Public health updates: Older adults and people with other health conditions are more at risk, new data shows — FDA authorizes two-minute antibody test kit to detect coronavirus.
  4. Federal government latest: NIAID director Anthony Fauci said the White House coronavirus task force will hold an "active discussion" about broadening the use of medical masks to protect against coronavirus.
  5. In Congress: New York Rep. Max Rose deploys to National Guard to help coronavirus response.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Misinformation in the coronavirus age.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

U.S. coronavirus updates: White House studies models projecting virus peak

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The White House and other institutions are observing several models to better understand and prepare cities for when the coronavirus is expected to peak in the U.S.

The state of play: The coronavirus is expected to peak in the U.S. in two weeks, but many states like Virginia and Maryland will see their individual peaks well after that, according to a model by the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Health

FDA authorizes two-minute antibody testing kit to detect coronavirus

Currently, it takes days to produce results from testing kits. Photo: Sergei Malgavko\TASS via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency approval Tuesday for a serological testing kit produced by Bodysphere Inc. that can detect a positive or negative result for COVID-19 in two minutes.

Why it matters: Access to testing has improved in the U.S. thanks to commercial labs, but the average wait time for a patient's results is four to five days — with some reports of it taking more than a week.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Health