American firm Tesla has reported recorded losses to the tune of £523 million in the first three months of 2018. However, the CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk, states that the company will achieve profitability by end of the year by meeting production targets and reducing capital expenditure.
The company’s first-quarter loss was more than double the £243 million the firm lost in the same period a year ago. Tesla generated £2.5 billion in revenue between January and March – a year-on-year rise of 26 percent – but continued to fall below its own production targets for the Model 3.
Tesla produced 2,270 Model 3s per week in April, below its revised target of 2,500. The firm had initially planned to produce 5,000 cars a week by the end of 2017, but has hit trouble scaling up production, and has suspended work in its California factory on several occasions in a bid to cure “production bottlenecks".
In an email to staff, Musk said Tesla was ready to be profitable, it if reduced capital expenditure and hit its target of producing 5,000 models a week by the end of June.
Shares in Tesla Inc remained stable following the announcement of the results, but then fell around five per cent, according to Reuters - wiping around £1.47 billion from the value of the company – during a media conference call given by Musk.
When asked what percentage of customers who had reserved a Model 3 had configured options for their cars – a signal of how much profit the firm could make on each vehicle – Musk responded: “These questions are so dry. They’re killing me.”
Musk also cut off a question about capital expenditure, stating that: “Boring, bonehead questions are not cool.”
Musk then took a series of questions from the host of a YouTube channel. During that exchange, Musk reiterated that production on Tesla’s forthcoming Model Y crossover would begin in early 2020, and claimed the firm’s autonomous ride-sharing vehicle could be fully developed by late 2019.