Tesla’s cash stockpile shrank by $700 million last quarter

Posted at 5:51 PM, May 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-02 18:02:33-04

Tesla burned through $700 million in cash last quarter.

The electric carmaker posted its latest earnings results Wednesday, and the filings show Tesla’s money stockpile shrank from $3.4 billion to $2.7 billion the first three months of 2018.

Tesla is eating up cash as it continues grappling with Model 3 production issues.

The electric carmaker has thousands of customers lined up to buy its first mass market car, the Model 3, which has a $35,000 starting price. But ramping up production to meet that demand has proved to be a thorn in Tesla’s side.

The manufacturing hangups have investors wondering if Tesla is headed for a cash crunch.

The company is facing $1 billion worth of bond payments that will come due over the next year, including $230 million due in November and $920 million next March.

In March, Moody’s downgraded its debt deeper into junk bond status and warned more downgrades could be coming. Standard & Poor’s also has warned of the possibility of a downgrade.

Bloomberg has been tracking production by continuously monitoring the issuance of vehicle identification numbers issued by the NTSB. At the end of last quarter, it estimated Tesla was making about 1,000 a week, a big jump from the fourth quarter but less than half the 2,500 a week target that Tesla hoped to hit by the end of 2017.

Tesla said Wednesday it was making 2,270 Model 3’s per week in April and posted three straight weeks producing 2,000 or more cars.

On Wednesday, the tracker estimated Tesla has hit 2,050 Model 3’s per week.