Electric auto maker Tesla achieved its goal of producing 5,000 Model 3 vehicles per week by the end of its second quarter in June, but saw its biggest net loss to date. The announcement from the firm came a month after it finally managed to reach a 5,000 Model 3s per week target that it had struggled to meet. The company said it aims to reach 10,000 a week "as fast as we can". Analysts have questioned whether the 5,000 rate would be sustainable.
In a statement released after the markets closed Wednesday, Tesla said it expects to produce between 50,000 and 55,000 Model 3s in the third quarter, an increase of at least 75 per cent from the first quarter.
Tesla is also adding a number of other fun features to its vehicles, including "party" and "camper" modes for its Model S, 3, and X vehicles. But Musk said numerous trade-ins it received were mass-market vehicles, including the Toyota Prius and Honda Accords and Civics.
Telsa's shares jumped 9.3 per cent to $US328.85 in after-hours trading on Wednesday. That angered some deposit-holders, and analysts questioned whether more would drop out because of delays making the cheaper $35,000 version.
On the conference call accompanying the results, Tesla chief executive Elon Musk said he expected the company to avoid going back to the markets for capital and to be "essentially self-funding on a go-forward basis". Stemming the tide was a major focal point of skeptics who were alarmed by the more than $1 billion in cash the company went through in three of the previous four quarters. In his crosshairs is hedge fund manager David Einhorn, who said his wrong bet that Tesla stock would fall was a big reason for his fund's poor performance in the second quarter.
"I was impressed with their negative free cash flow", said David Kudla, CEO of Mainstay Capital Management, which is betting against Tesla. Tesla projected total 2018 capital spending at just below $2.5 billion.
The company also outlined expansion plans, saying it would likely announce the location of a European factory this year and planned a Shanghai, China plant to produce both vehicles and batteries.
Excluding items, Tesla reported a loss of $2.45 per share, compared with expectations of a loss of $2.92.