Tesla 'very close' to profitability, Musk declares in staff note
A Model 3 at Tesla’s delivery center in Marina Del Rey, Calif., on Sept. 29. Tesla increased Model 3 output in the third quarter to over 51,000 vehicles.
Elon Musk told Tesla Inc. employees that the company was on the cusp of making money, hours after he and the carmaker reached a settlement with the U.S. that steps up oversight of the CEO’s communications of material information.
“We are very close to achieving profitability and proving the naysayers wrong, but, to be certain, we must execute really well tomorrow (Sunday),” Musk wrote in the email to staff. “If we go all out tomorrow, we will achieve an epic victory beyond all expectations.”
Sunday marks the end of the third quarter and Tesla has frantically pushed to boost deliveries, notably Model 3 sales, before the period ends.
Musk agreed to relinquish the role of chairman for at least three years and pay $20 million to settle fraud charges that the Securities and Exchange Commission brought against him in a lawsuit filed Thursday.
Tesla also agreed to pay $20 million and implement procedures and controls to oversee the CEO’s communications of material information after he tweeted — falsely, according to the SEC — that he secured funding last month to take the company private.
Musk is cheering on progress making a key component of the Model 3 sedan and has urged Tesla employees to pay no attention to distractions in a series of emails sent in the wake of the SEC suit and settlement.
Musk wrote in one email that the company’s Model 3 drive team had built more than 10,000 units in a week. That’s potentially crucial progress for a company that has been vague about when it’ll be capable of building that many complete Model 3s, the first EV it’s tried to mass produce.
“You’re doing an incredible job,” Musk, 47, wrote in the subject line of a separate email sent to employees Friday. “Ignore all distractions. One more hardcore weekend and we will be victorious.”
Tesla representatives didn’t immediately comment on the emails, copies of which were obtained by Bloomberg News.
On Saturday, as Tesla looked to deliver as many vehicles as possible to its centers before the third quarter ends, Musk tweeted that Tesla is looking toward direct delivery to customers’ homes or workplaces. He was responding to a Twitter user who wrote of having to get by on “water, coffee, granola bars and and pretzel bites” during a seven-hour visit.
“This weekend could really use some food trucks parked outside!,” the Twitter user said.