Tesla sinks after missing Model 3 deliveries by a mile (TSLA)

Tesla sinks after missing Model 3 deliveries by a mile (TSLA)

Tesla sinks after missing Model 3 deliveries by a mile (TSLA)

"Tesla has really lofty goals for automation", Tasha Keeney, an analyst at ARK Investment Management, which holds Tesla shares, said in a phone interview.

Even with the super-cold weather hitting most parts of the USA right now, the Model 3 had its heater blasting away reducing the miles the electric vehicle could drive without charging.

Most analysts consider the Model 3 to be the most important number in the Tesla 4Q 17 delivery report because the company has been having such a hard time ramping production.

In a note to investors this week, Cowen analyst Jeffrey Osborne became the most recent analyst to slash his Model 3 estimate for the Tesla 4Q 17 deliveries report by 75%.

But it was already hard to see how Tesla can sell the Model 3 at its $35,000 starting price and pull in 25 percent gross margins, which are typical of higher-end luxury cars, Brinkman said.

The company said it delivered a total of 29,870 vehicles in the fourth quarter, including 15,200 Model S vehicles and 13,120 Model X cars. The FactSet consensus for total Tesla 4Q 17 deliveries stands at about 30,000, including 4,100 Model 3 sedans, but the estimates diverge from there.

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.

Although bullish investors have generally waved off early Model 3 problems, instead focussing on the future prospects of Tesla, critics warn that Model 3 issues could sour demand for Tesla's mass-market vehicle, delay sorely needed revenue and compromise the company's ability to raise cash in the future. Previously, Tesla was hoping to reach the 5,000/per week rate by the end of March.

Shares were down 1.65% in after-hours trading.

In the United States, the Model 3 will be priced from just $US35,000 ($44,500), putting in reach of many consumers who would normally opt for a petrol-powered passenger auto in the segment. The company could probably also issue unsecured, convertible or secured bonds since the market in general is so strong, he said. "Ramping up production levels with a flawed product is foolish". That said, we're encouraged by hundreds of Model 3s have been spotted at delivery centers and at the Fremont factory shown in a video here, along with several suppliers reporting that they are back to delivering Model 3 parts at volume. "While Tesla's repeated guidance revisions could begin to risk damaging its elite brand, a mass-recall would probably be far more damaging", he said.

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