For the Model 3, the company's first mass-marketed auto, more than 450,000 people have preordered the vehicle.
Musk also briefly touched on where Tesla is with respect to autopilot. But he did just that: first, with the Tesla Roadster sports vehicle, and then with the Model S sedan. "At the rate Tesla is producing, the Model 3 may be my Christmas present to myself next year!" He expects margins to expand next year.
If you're a journalist who covered Tesla's recent mass layoffs - and the subsequent lawsuit filed by one of the hundreds of workers in California who were recently let go - Elon Musk has one word for you, "Shame". Dougherty & Company maintained Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) on Friday, August 7 with "Buy" rating.
"Now that the foundation of the Tesla vision neural net is right, which was an exceptionally hard problem, as it must fit into far less computing power than is typically used, we expect a rapid roll-out of additional functionality over the next several months and are progressing rapidly towards our goal of a coast-to-coast drive with no one touching the controls", reads the letter.
"We continue to update our Autopilot software and recently made significant improvements to the Autosteer function", said Tesla. Achieving that level of production now seems unlikely before March 2018, Fortune says. Or will it? In a question-and-answer session, he subsequently warned there are "too many uncertainties" to predict the ramp-up pace at this point. "Discussion of future cash flow was characteristically vague but the CFO emphasized that the eventual Model 3 ramp will be accompanied by substantial operating cash flow".
In mid-October, The Wall Street Journal reported that Tesla had reached a deal to open a factory in Shanghai's Free Trade Zone. In the past 52 weeks the company's stock price has moved within the range of $178.19 to $389.61. But a growing number of analysts are now turning bearish.
"Tesla needs to slow down and more narrowly focus its vision and come up for a breath of fresh air", Cowen and Co analysts said in a note. "Elon Musk needs to stop over promising and under delivering".
The stock is up 40.51% this year.
Tesla posted a US$619 million loss in the third quarter as it spent heavily to clear up production holdup and bring its hotly awaited Model 3 sedan to market.
That has some anxious that the automaker could run into a cash crunch. But the Model 3 is its first mainstream offering and it comes to market at a time when Tesla's cash reserves are strained and as competitors are determined to challenge it in the emerging electric vehicle segment.