Tesla thins out its paint palette to "simplify manufacturing" at factory

Helen Aguilar
September 12, 2018

Tesla is adopting a tried-and-true approach to speeding up production: fewer colors.

Shares were under pressure last week on news of senior personnel changes and after CEO Elon Musk was filmed smoking marijuana during a live interview. The stock price has dropped almost 12 percent since the first of the year.

Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) will eliminate some color options for its electric cars to streamline production, Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk tweeted on Tuesday, as the company intensifies its efforts to ramp up production.

Nomura Instinet said Tesla remains "positioned to deliver unprecedented revenue growth" because its control of the supply chain and battery manufacturing technology places it ahead of other companies developing electric cars. In the past year and a half, "retreats in the stock below $300 per share have usually presented attractive near-term entry points, and we suspect the same may be the case following last week's turmoil". Tesla hasn't been able to get producing 5,000 cars this quarter.

There is a waiting list of more than 400,000 people who want to buy a Tesla, and some have been waiting since March 2016, when the company first started taking orders.

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Later on Friday, Tesla named a new president of automotive operations, promoting eight-year Tesla employee and former Daimler truck exec Jerome Guillen into the role overseeing all automotive operations and reporting to Musk.

A Tesla spokesperson referred to previous comments in which Musk said Tesla expects to turn a profit in the third and fourth quarters. Bernstein noted that headlines have overshadowed the little we've heard about fundamentals, suggesting that "the company appears to remain on track to meet its Model 3 production guidance". Instead, you'll have to pay extra for them.

But Left told Chatterley he thinks that at the end of the day, Tesla is going to need more cash and it will probably have to sell more stock to raise funding. He reiterated a Market Perform rating and $325 price target on the shares, writing that the stock's recent woes largely stem from four main factors, : potential lawsuits about the go-private tweet heard round the world, Musk's erratic behavior, emerging competition, and executive departures and accounting issues.

The $35,000 Model 3 will reach new customers for Tesla, some of whom won't own multiple vehicles.

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