Falcon Heavy Launch Scores Acclaim, Musk Thrilled

SpaceX  YouTube

SpaceX YouTube

However compared to its fossil fuel rivals, the electric vehicle company actually produces very few autos and has faced severe delays in production of the company's Model 3, its first battery-powered vehicle for the mass-market. The first wave of cars has been delivered to paying customers, but Tesla has delayed targets several times to focus on quality and play whack-a-mole with several unspecified production bottlenecks at both its Gigafactory in Nevada and its assembly plant in California.

Batteries powering the camera views of the Roadster were only expected to last about 12 hours, so they won't provide close-up views of the auto near Mars or an asteroid, but that was never the idea.

While the inclusion of the Roadster could illustrate how SpaceX could eventually use its rockets to send people and goods into space, it's also a smart marketing ploy from one of the business world's best salesmen, as the Roadster's inclusion in the Falcon Heavy launch has increased the amount of media coverage around the event.

"Automation fixes being done in Germany suggest that Model 3 production targets are at risk and that investors will not be surprised by such delays, which we expect will allow TSLA to push out capex payments, reducing near-term cash pressure", analyst Colin Rusch said in a note to clients.


The six-month timeframe is actually at the long end as Musk said during Tesla's earnings call yesterday when asked about the drive that the company will "probably" be able to perform it in three months or "six months at the outside". The company is putting off spending to double its production rate until reaching that milestone. If Tesla doesn't meet those goals, Musk won't get paid. This was just $277 million in the fourth quarter - the lowest in more than a year - after two straight quarters of more than $1 billion. Tesla also recently disclosed that it didn't test any autonomous cars on California's public roads a year ago, even as Waymo churned up more than 352,000 miles. Shares are down more than 2% in trading Thursday morning.

How far off are the long-awaited updates to Tesla's autonomous features?

More information was also shared about Tesla's planned ridesharing network, which first was first posted on Tesla's website at the end of 2016 with a mention that more details would be released the following year, but have yet to materialize. Insideevs reports that if Tesla is struggling to make profits on a $55,000 (£39,642.90) variant of the Model 3, they are not likely to really make any on the $35,000 base model. In doing this, we employ strategies learned from nature itself. Tesla may still have to pay 25% import duty, says the Wall Street Journal.

Tesla's fourth-quarter shareholder letter can be found in full on the investor relations portion of its website.

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