Elon Musk’s Tesla company lost a staggering $2 billion (£1.5 billion) in market value overnight on Wednesday after the chief executive skipped answering ‘dry’ questions from analysts.
Instead, the man behind the electric car company spoke to YouTube about his ideas for the brand’s self-driving cars.
Tesla has now recorded a $709.6 million (£521.9m) loss in the three months up to the end of March compared to loses last year which stood at $330.2m (£242.9m).
Their shares barely budged following the publication of the figures, but dropped by a further 5 per cent after Musk had cut short a conference call with analysts who wanted to know more about the Tesla’s profit potential and capital requirements, saying ‘These questions are so dry. They’re killing me’, The Independent reports.
Instead, the billionaire philanthropist, whose net worth is estimated at $19.6bn (£14.4bn) took questions from YouTube channel owner Gali Russel, who was curious to know about a potential for a self-driving car network.
However, it seems sooner or later Musk will have to face the issue as his company is currently burning through more cash than it’s taking back. The company says ‘in spite of significant revenue growth’, in the first quarter alone Tesla’s operating expenses have risen 14 per cent each year to $1.05bn (£772.4m). The Independent reports Tesla’s revenue rose 19 per cent to $2.7bn from $2.3bn in the first quarter of last year.
Experts have calculated Tesla needs to raise their capital by the end of the year. But despite the bleak financial situation Musk insists Tesla will ‘be profitable in Q3 and Q4’ so long as they reached their target of mass producing 5000 Model 3 vehicles per week.
Earlier models of the car were rushed onto the market ‘using a largely automated process’ however, its battery module line became a ‘production bottleneck’.
In a press statement Tesla said:
After deploying multiple semi-automated lines and improving our original lines, we have largely overcome this bottleneck.
They went onto claim they have plans in place to make sure they reach their 5,000-cars-per-week quota before the installation of a new automated line.
The press statement goes on to say:
Still, once installed, this new automated module line should significantly lower manufacturing costs.
Last month, Musk, who’s known for pushing the boundaries of technical innovation and human ingenuity with Tesla – as well as his other two companies SpaceX and The Boring Company, revealed his most outrageous project yet. On Twitter, he casually revealed he was ‘building a cyborg dragon‘.
Oh btw I’m building a cyborg dragon
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 25, 2018
While no one knows if he’s truly messing around or not, we wouldn’t put it past him. After all this is a man who shot his own car into space so it could reach Mars by 2022. It’s probably the reason Tesla lost so much money last night, robot dragons aren’t cheap you know.
Despite being only 46-years-old Musk has a comprehensive and ambitious list of goals to achieve by 2030.
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