Fourfold increase in Tesla Model 3 production as Musk takes the wheel

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Embattled electric vehicle maker Tesla said it had ramped up quarterly production on its Model 3 sedan, although it still fell short of its goal of 2,500 a week.

On the delivery side, Tesla put customers behind the wheel of 29,980 vehicles including 8,180 Model 3s, 11,730 Model S' and 10,070 Model Xs. Tesla is not high on the list of New Energy carmakers - its cars account for just 3 percent of all battery-electric vehicle sales - but they are certainly at the top of the battery-electric pecking order when it comes to luxury features and price.

Tesla's stock had jumped more than 5% to about $267 in early afternoon trading.

Moody's dropped Tesla's credit rating March 30 and changed the company's outlook to negative as the fledgling Model 3's production dwindles while the automaker's financial situation grows dim. Tesla will need to raise more money in the near future to meet its cash needs, the credit rating agency claimed. Today, Tesla issued a press release where it talks about Model 3 production in the first quarter of 2018.

Following on from production of Model S and Model X totalling 24,728 in the first quarter, the next seven days are expected to produce 2,000 units of the Models S and X.

Another e-mail dated March 23 from a different Tesla manager stated that it would be an "incredible victory" if the company could hit a production run rate of 2.5K per week by March 31.

The electric vehicle maker is now producing the Model S, Model X and the Model 3 at the Fremont, Calif. manufacturing plant.

Tesla is focused on the production of electric vehicles, founded in 2003.

Net Model 3 reservations remained stable through Q1.

Tesla noted that its delivery figures are "slightly conservative", and that it only considers a vehicle to be delivered once the auto is transferred to a customer and all paperwork is complete. "As a result Tesla does not require an equity or debt raise this year, apart from standard credit lines", the company said in a regulatory filing.

Shares of Tesla are up 2.4% Tuesday, but still down 14.5% this year.

Tesla said it is sticking to its forecast that it would be making 5,000 cars a week "in about three months".

Tesla still expects its production rate to more than double by the end of June to about 5,000 cars a week.

The firm said a series of short shutdowns had enabled it to address production and supply chain bottlenecks, allowing it to increase Model 3 production "exponentially". Right now, tho, better to divide & conquer, so I'm back to sleeping at factory.

For now, though, Tesla's solar energy business is taking a back seat to the Model 3. It had promised to produce 2,500 a week by the end of the first quarter, which ended Saturday. "If this rate of growth continues, it will exceed even that of Ford and the Model T".