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In July 2017, Musk said he was confident that Tesla would be producing 20,000 Model Three's a month in December 2017, in line with his previous pledge of having 5,000 vehicles a week by year's end.

Tesla was under pressure by investors, citing the Company's profitability issue in the first half of the fiscal year.

The latest information may be part of a larger inquiry that investigators began earlier this year, although neither the Justice Department nor the FBI have confirmed that they are investigating Tesla, which is common among federal agencies.

"We have not received a subpoena, a request for testimony or any other formal process, and there have been no additional document requests about this from the Department of Justice for months", the Tesla spokesperson added.

Kamran Mumtaz, a Tesla spokesman, sent Ars a statement, saying that earlier this year the company received a voluntary request for documents, which it complied with.

The financial report was Musk's final one as Tesla chairman, before he is required to step down due to a settlement with the U.S. government for his tweets about taking the firm private.

Last month the U.S. financial regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission, accused him of defrauding investors when he claimed he had secured funding to take Tesla private.




Just as the dust looked to be settling for Elon Musk's Tesla, it appears the company has another investigation on its hands. This is also the starting capacity, as the company plans to expand production to 500,000 vehicles before long.

If Tesla had made a decision to rest on its laurels in 2014 and not start work on the Model X, Tesla probably could have enjoyed several years of positive free cash flow-and perhaps profits-from sales of the Model S. But Musk wasn't interested in resting on his laurels. The company has maintained that it designed and built the Model 3 with a target 25% gross margin and nearly achieved that this quarter (albeit with a rich mix). The American vehicle company has already recorded outstanding success with the Model 3 despite dealing with initial production struggles, and Model Y is expected to follow the same path. Analysts argue that Tesla has learned quite a lot from the success and challenges of the Model 3.

The automaker reported free cash flow of $881 million in the quarter - the first time since the third quarter of fiscal 2016 - and Musk stated the company will maintain that in the coming quarters.

If a company's cash burn continues over an extended period of time, the company is operating on stockholder equity funds and borrowed capital.

While the third-quarter results were definitely "impressive", and spurred at least one upgrade to outperform at Wolfe Research, most analysts questioned whether the profit and robust cash flow were sustainable and can be repeated next quarter. Tesla owner forums and social media are filled with customers - several of whom spoke with The Times - who paid full price for their cars, in cash, but experienced weeks-long delays in delivery into October.

The configurator for the Model 3 will also be activated this year in Europe as well as China this year, which formally allows for vehicle orders. Tesla's working capital and cash position improved in 3Q18, softening near term liquidity concerns, which should allow debt holders with shorter maturities to breathe a sigh of relief.

The company on Wednesday reported an "historic" profitable quarter driven by demand for the mass-market Model 3.


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