Tesla misses weekly Model 3 production target, warns of trade war impact

Tesla misses weekly Model 3 production target, warns of trade war impact

The electric auto maker's shares sank last week after the US Securities and Exchange Commission accused Musk of securities fraud, opening up the prospect of a long fight that could have seen Tesla lose its leader, and undermined its ability to raise capital and increase production.

Last Thursday, the SEC charged Musk with securities fraud for the infamous tweets about taking Tesla private at $420 per share and for claiming "funding secured" for a potential deal.

At the same time, Tesla has also settled new charges of "failing to have required disclosure controls and procedures relating to Musk's tweets", and will also pay a penalty of $20m.

Besides a new chairman, Tesla was also ordered to appoint two new, independent members to its board.

Neither Musk nor Tesla admitted or denied the SEC's findings under the settlement, which still must be approved by a court.

Shares of Tesla Inc jumped by nearly 18 percent on Monday as Chief Executive Elon Musk settled a lawsuit that had threatened to force him out and said a surge in third-quarter production had driven it to the verge of profitability. The complaint had sought his removal as chief executive as well.

But the key outcome is that Musk gets to continue as CEO, and in the role that as the visionary, evangelist and, well, the driver and inspiration to develop new products, new strategies and plot the end of the fossil fuel era.

Electrek, a website focusing on the electric-vehicle industry and particularly on Tesla's offerings, quoted an unnamed source as saying production levels reached an unprecedented level of roughly 80,000 for the third quarter. Whether Tesla made a profit likely will not be known until it reports financial results for the quarter.

Tesla's stock price has swung sharply since Musk tweeted in August he was thinking of taking the company private.

In the immediate aftermath of the "funding secured" tweet, Tesla stock rose by six per cent.

"Ignore all distractions. One more hardcore weekend and we will all be victorious", Musk wrote in the first email sent Friday Sept. 28.

Some highlights: The company said it delivered more than 55,000 Model 3 sedans during the quarter, a 10th of those in the last week of the quarter. But actual Model 3 production during Q3 has averaged out at a little more than 4,000 cars a week.

Today's sharp upturn in Tesla's share price served as a signal from investors that the settlement didn't put too heavy of a burden on the company's operations.

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