Tesla’s new overambitious plan: to build 500,000 cars in 2018 image

The electric and eccentric automaker said that was speeding up its pace and aimed to hit its initial production plan two years ahead of schedule.

If almost all analysts have shown scepticism to Tesla’s plans to produce 500,000 cars by 2020, almost ten times more than it built last year, how are they now seeing the new target? As the automaker announced its first-quarter result this week, it also said it raised the production bar time-frame by aiming to hit its initial goal by 2018. This euphoric momentum has been definitely triggered by the massive hype around the newly announced affordable electric Model 3, for which Tesla received more than 325,000 reservations in the first week of taking deposits, thus implying about 14 billion dollars in future sales.

As for the financial targets, the company said at the beginning of the year that it aimed to make a net profit in the final quarter of this year, but it gave no targets this week and said capital spending would rise about 50 percent more than previously forecasted this year, to around 2.25 billion dollars. By now, Tesla’s net loss widened to 282.3 million dollars, or 2.13 dollars per share, in the first quarter ending March 31, from 154.2 million dollars, or 1.22 dollars per share, a year earlier. Chief Executive Elon Musk said the automaker was on track to deliver 80,000 to 90,000 electric vehicles in 2016 and the new pace would probably lead to a 2020 volume target of 1 million units.