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Ben Geman Apr 16
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Elon Musk keeps raising the stakes for Tesla

Elon Musk points to his right as people take photos
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."

Axios 9 hours ago
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Khorri Atkinson 1 hour ago
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Generation Z's next battleground: lowering the voting age

Students walking out on the 19th anniversary of Columbine
Tens of thousands participate in the March for Our Lives Rally. Photo: Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images

Washington, D.C. is on the verge of becoming the first major U.S. city to allow people as young as 16 to vote in local and federal elections, including for president — under a proposal that has gotten support from a majority of the District’s council and the mayor.

Why it matters: Lowering the voting age to 16 from 18 is a direct attempt to capitalize on the post-millennial generation’s brewing political activism and power that have been radically heightened by the country’s increasingly polarized climate.