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Elon Musk admits it: Tesla almost went bankrupt because of the Model 3

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The life of car manufacturers is not without struggles. The proof is here, in Elon Musk's lastest confession. In an interview, the famous entrepreneur acknowledged Tesla's difficulties due to the launch of its latest vehicle, the Model 3.

It's a public secret. Tesla has had many concerns about the marketing of its new Model 3. While success was indeed present at the pre-order level, it was at the production level that the electric vehicle manufacturer experienced difficulties - particularly in obtaining a sufficient production rate to meet demand.

In an interview for the TV show Axios on HBO, Elon Musk said: "Tesla really faced a severe death threat due to the Model 3 production ramp. Eventually the company was bleeding money like crazy. If we did not solve these problems in a very short period of time, we would die. And it was extremely difficult to solve them."

Tesla's dark period - probably between March and April 2018 - officially ended when the brand was finally able to reach its production target of 5000 vehicles per week. This was achieved in July 2018 at the cost of sacrifices for employees (long working hours) and Elon Musk's presence on the production site - day and night).

Once the target was met, Musk sent an email to his employees asking them to reach the 6000 cars per week mark. This strategy paid off because Tesla finally managed to turn a profit for the first time in two years in the third quarter of 2018.

Are you interested in Model 3? Do you believe in the future of electric cars? Let us know in the comments.

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Pierre Vitré

Pierre Vitré
Head of Content

Pierre has a strong passion for new technologies and mobile since its first StarTac. Android user since 2011, Pierre became totally hooked. He never leaves his smartphone and smartwatch and still believes in the success of Google Glass. That's why he joined to be the head of content.

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  • Rusty H. 33
    Rusty H. Nov 27, 2018 Link to comment

    Autos in America, are now becoming too expensive. When you have American auto manufacturers, phasing out passenger vehicles, to ONLY build pickups and SUV's, which "demand" a low end price of 40K, upwards of 100K, where are the good affordable passenger vehicles? The American auto industry has hoodwinked the public into believing they "need" trucks & SUV's because they are more family oriented, safer bla bla bla.
    How many times do you come upon an SUV wreck, where the vehicle flipped over because of the high center of gravity? Plus, to achieve the C.A.F.E. standards, they've taken out so much steel that was there to protect you (steel beams in the doors, heavy metal bumpers). The metal is so THIN in vehicles, with some, you have to be careful when you lean on them, as to not put a DENT in the metal. They will counter this with crumple zones, side curtain air bags and the such. No, I'd rather have a CAGE OF HEAVY STEEL around me. In the 70's, American auto companies screwed up by making cars bigger and bigger and bigger, then the made up "energy crisis" came along, gas doubled & tripled very quickly, they had NO small cars, and the Japanese flooded the market with cheap cars that had good mileage (that would have been in the 20 MPG range for the time). The U.S. car industry then came out in the mid-late 70's with some of the most God awful small cars you can think of that were JUNK. Pinto, Nova, Hornet, Gremlin etc. It wasn't until around the mid 80's that the American auto industry started catching up again.
    Henry Ford, credited with making "affordable" autos so that even his own employees could afford one, started the trend of making America a more mobile society.
    It's time the stockholders, CEO's, bean counters take a back seat to constantly inflating the stock market, and produce a good AFFORDABLE product.

    Tom S