Tesla says its Model 3 production nightmare is almost over

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In other words, Tesla appears to be now producing the Model 3 at a pace is well of the pace implied in our earnings model.

Throughout past year, Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk had trumpeted a production level of 5,000 a week by December 2017.

Thursday's drop is a welcome sign for traders who have been loading up on bets against Tesla.

Model 3 production rate exiting 4Q17 easily 50% above our pace of delivery forecast for 1Q.

In short, Tesla's initial Model 3 production goal is about six months behind schedule.

Some of these numbers seem a little ridiculous, but considering this is one of the most hotly-anticipated vehicles in recent memory and deliveries only just started a couple weeks ago, it stands to reason that we would see a few owners testing the market to see what they can get.

Tesla's luxury Model S sedans and Model X SUVs regularly require fixes before they can leave the factory and quality checks have routinely revealed defects in almost all of these models inspected after assembly, Reuters reported in November, citing sources.

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Tesla reported its largest quarterly loss on record and spent as much as $1.1 billion in cash during the quarter ending in September. The company announced the acquisition of Perbix, a closely held maker of automated machines used for manufacturing, back in November, a week after Musk cited challenges with automating Model 3 production. The carmaker has been blowing through more than $1 billion a quarter as it's had trouble scaling up output despite spending heavily on robots, assembly lines and tooling for the sedan that is Musk's cheapest yet, starting at $35,000. And factoring the Model 3 out of the equation, Tesla notes that Model S and Model X deliveries alone grew by 33%.

In delivering 1,550 of its new Model 3 electric vehicles in the fourth quarter, Tesla fell short of Wall Street expectations.

Despite continued headwinds with the Model 3, Tesla did manage to deliver more of its Model X, Model S, and Model 3 vehicles than in previous quarters.

The Elon Musk-led company now expects to assemble 5,000 Model 3s a week by the end of June, delaying plans to reach that milestone by another three months. Critics point out that the company's unprecedented rush to ramp up production puts it at risk of delays and costly recalls if quality issues arise.

"We're also very appreciative of our Model 3 customers, who continue to stick by us while patiently waiting for their cars".

Previously, Tesla was trying to manufacture Model 3s at that rate sometime in 2017.

Tesla said Wednesday it's making "major progress" addressing problems "with our production rate increasing significantly towards the end of the quarter".

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