Tesla remains on track despite battery delays hitting production

Production of Tesla's Model 3 has not met analysts expectations
Production of Tesla's Model 3 has not met analysts expectations
By Tokunbo Salako with Reuters
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Reflecting a mixed fourth-quarter, shares of the electric car firm are up 10 percent since the start of the year


After shooting off into space, Tesla has warned that its spending could rise this year.

CEO Elon Musk says the firm's sticking to its revised production targets for its new €30,000 Model 3 sedan.

But it is clear the electric carmaker needs more cash after a mixed fourth-quarter report.

Tesla's long-term viability depends on annually making billions from sales of its Model 3s, which costs half the price of its flagship Model S.

Production delays blamed on battery issues resulted in only 1,550 deliveries in the fourth quarter, far below the 4,100 vehicles expected by analysts - meaning revenue from the highly anticipated vehicle has yet to hit Tesla's bottom line.

Despite the competitive environment, Tesla's stock has soared 35 percent in the last year, making the company the second-most valuable U.S. automaker, with a market capitalization of €45.5 billion, behind General Motors Co, which had a net revenue of US$118.5 billion in 2017.

But some analysts have questioned whether Musk's myriad of other interests, from space exploration to tunnel boring technology, are a distraction at a critical time within Tesla.

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