Published: Sat, February 10, 2018
Science | By Hubert Green

The Financials of the Falcon Heavy

The Financials of the Falcon Heavy

On February 8, meteorologist Eric Holthaus noticed on the NASA website that a new object has been added to the list of ephemeris: the Tesla Roadster. The Palo Alto, California-based automaker is struggling to meet production targets for its first mass-market vehicle, the Model 3 sedan.

Tesla has reported a loss of $675.4m in three months to 31 December, compared to $121.3m a year earlier.

During, Musk said he is "cautiously optimistic" the company will be profitable sometime this year. Running down the list of achievements he included the launch of its first mass market vehicle, the Model 3, the introduction of an all-electric big rig heavy-duty truck and its next-generation Roadster.

In a letter to shareholders, Musk said it has been hard to get accurate forecasts for the auto, a more affordable model for the automaker known for expensive vehicles. Notably, they predict operating income will become "sustainably positive" at some point this year and that production of Model 3, as well as the S and X crossover, will continue to grow. Exceeding the forecast provided Tesla an adjusted net loss that was slightly better than expected.

"Last pic of Starman in Roadster enroute to Mars orbit and then the Asteroid Belt", he wrote on Instagram. But it fell woefully short on the Model 3, which went into production in July.

Are you a Model 3 fancier patiently waiting for delivery? So in order to convert young Tesla evangelists into Tesla customers, the company had to make a auto that was affordable to those whose salaries and savings accounts didn't justify the steep price tag of a Model S or X. If Tesla doesn't meet those goals, Musk won't get paid. But Musk said Wednesday he has no plans to step aside as CEO.

"Jon is a world-class leader who brings deep experience as a highly successful entrepreneur and executive", Lyft CEO Logan Green said in an emailed statement.

CASH BURN: Tesla has lofty targets, including building a plant in China and launching a small SUV in 2020. All that costs money, which Tesla is burning through at a fast clip. All of that work is many, many years in the future. The report also notes the Roadster on board the rocket is Musk's own vehicle.

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