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Elon Musk says naysayers are in for a 'rude awakening' about Model 3 production numbers (TSLA)

tesla employee
tesla employee

Hannibal Hanschke / Reuters

  • Tesla CEO Elon Musk refuted a Goldman Sachs' analyst's claim that the company would miss its second-quarter production targets for Model 3 sedans

  • "They're in for a rude awakening :)" Musk wrote in an email to employees. 

  • Tesla has repeatedly missed production targets for the Model 3. 

Tesla CEO Elon Musk sent a companywide email on Wednesday refuting estimates by a Goldman Sachs analyst that the electric car company would miss second-quarter production targets of its Model 3 sedan. 

David Tamberrino, a Goldman Sachs analyst who has had a sell rating on Tesla since last February, wrote that deliveries were not meeting expectations and that second-quarter production numbers were "elevated." 

Musk did not agree with Goldman Sachs' assessment. 

"They're in for a rude awakening :)" Musk wrote in an email obtained by Bloomberg.com. Musk then linked his comments to a CNBC story that showed Goldman expected Tesla to deliver 22,000 Model 3s at the close of the quarter.  

While Tamberrino wrote Tesla would hit 22,000 deliveries of its Model 3 electric-sedan, the number falls well short of the 28,000 number chosen as an industry-wide consensus. CNBC reports Tamberrino based his conclusion on data from InsideEVs.com, GreenCarReports.com, and registration bureaus in various European countries. 

Tesla has stated it expects to make 5,000 cars per week by the end of this month, but Musk has repeatedly changed Model 3 production targets.

During a first-quarter earnings call in May 2016, Musk said Tesla aimed to make 100,000 to 200,000 Model 3s in the second half of 2017. He did not come close. This year, only 9,766 Model 3s rolled out in the first quarter – a weekly output rate of roughly 750. 

Tesla recently revealed "a giant tent" assembly line to help increase its Model 3 delivery numbers, but it's unclear how much impact the makeshift production line has helped the company grow output. 

At the time of this writing, Tesla shares were up 2.2 percent at $344.24. The last 12 months have been up and down year for Tesla, with shares down about 9 percent over the past year, but up nearly 10 percent since January. Last September the stock traded as high as $389.61, while hitting its lowest price of $244.59 in April.

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