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Tesla’s still losing money, but at least Musk isn’t losing it on earnings calls – ANITH
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Tesla’s still losing money, but at least Musk isn’t losing it on earnings calls

Tesla’s still losing money, but at least Musk isn’t losing it on earnings calls

The Tesla Model 3 is slowly getting made and delivered.

Image: Mason Trinca for The Washington Post via Getty Images

After last quarter’s bizarre earnings call with Tesla CEO Elon Musk, callers weren’t sure what to expect Wednesday when Musk returned to talk about his electric car company.

But instead of off-the-wall remarks, Musk was pretty low energy. “Sorry if I sound a little tired. I’ve been working like crazy in the body shop,” he said at the start of the call. During the Q-and-A portion, Musk went on to explain he was overworked the last time he talked to investors and apologized for “not being polite on the prior call.” With another caller he said, “that was not right,” and “I hope you accept my apology.”

As for the numbers, things are improving. More and more of the cars are actually getting delivered, with a total 18,449 Model 3 vehicles dropped off to new owners this quarter.

In terms of making the battery-powered cars, Tesla reached its 5,000 per week milestone for the Model 3 and wants to hit 6,000 per week by the end of August. The ultimate goal is to make 10,000 Model 3s per week by the end of the year. Next quarter should see up to 55,000 Model 3s built and even more delivered.

Maybe Musk is tired after the huge effort Tesla has taken to ramp up its car production — like adding a massive tent factory outside its car plant in Fremont, California. Numbers for the second quarter show Tesla slowly meeting its production and delivery goals for its hyped-up, affordably priced sedan, the Model 3. 

Of course, Musk has been beyond active on social media and his bizarre Twitter antics have put people off Tesla. Despite the strange online behavior, Tesla has made $4 billion for Q2, compared to $2.78 billion for the same quarter a year ago. But the company posted a $520-million loss, which puts them in the red. As usual, Musk said the goal is for Tesla to be profitable every quarter and that after next quarter that looks possible. But Musk emphasized the company still has to be cautious. “Being cash flow positive doesn’t mean we’re rolling in money,” he said.

As Clement Thibault, an Investing.com senior analyst, said in an email, “I am certain without Musk, Tesla is worth far less than it is worth today … Tesla and its investors must put up with Musk’s shenanigans because they have a financial incentive to do so.”

Tesla isn’t taking Model 3 reservations anymore, but test drives just started last month. In its company update, the company said it’s already received more than 60,000 Model 3 test drive requests in the U.S. Musk said it’s “not unreasonable” that people want to test the car before they buy it.

The next car in Tesla’s line-up is the Model Y, but little has been divulged about the vehicle. On the call, Musk said he wasn’t able to say much more. So we keep waiting.

Sadly, Musk didn’t elaborate on his tweet from earlier about video games coming to the cars.

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Anith Gopal
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