Tesla has stood by plans to build 2500 Model 3s per week by the end of March, despite having posted its worst-ever quarterly loss in Q4 of 2017.
The company lost US$675.4 million ($864.2 million) across October, November and December 2017, compared to a $121 million loss in the same period of 2016. The information was disclosed in its financial results and shareholder letter.
Elon Musk’s electric startup has been pouring money into Model 3 production, not to mention the Semi and Roadster models unveiled late last year. The company spent US$787 million ($100.1 million) in Q4 last year, and said capital spending would “slightly” increase this year.
Production challenges, described candidly by Musk as “hell”, have plagued the company since the Model 3 was announced in July last year. Initial production forecasts have been revised three times – most recently in January, 2018.
Having initially planned to build 10,000 examples of its ‘affordable electric car’ in December last year, the company managed just 1550 deliveries. It built just 2425 Model 3s in Q4.
In January, that production goal was adjusted to 2500 cars per week by March 31, 2018, and 5000 per week by the end of Q2, 2018. Tesla says is standing by those targets, although the brand is clearly hedging its bets.
“It is important to note that while these are the levels we are focused on hitting and we have plans in place to achieve them, our prior experience on the Model 3 ramp has demonstrated the difficulty of accurately forecasting specific production rates at specific points in time,” the shareholder letter reads.
Speaking of hedging bets, there are plans to start “generating positive quarterly operating income on a sustained basis at some point in 2018″.
At one point, Tesla had more than 500,000 refundable reservations for the Model 3, valued at AU$1000 each. It is unknown at this stage what number of those currently remain, although Tesla said net reservations remained “stable” throughout Q4, having dropped from 518,000 to 455,000 at the start of August, 2017.