Elon Musk Says Tesla Came Within A Month Of Bankruptcy While Scaling Up Model 3 Production

Elon Musk has revealed that Tesla was roughly one month away from bankruptcy while it was trying to ramp up production of the Model 3.

While speaking with fans on Twitter about the electric car manufacturer’s fundraising history, Musk was asked how close Tesla was to bankruptcy while in “production hell” with the Model 3.

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“Closest we got was about a month. The Model 3 ramp was extreme stress & pain for a long time — from mid-2017 to mid-2019. Production & logistics hell,” Musk replied.

Funnily enough, it was on April 1, 2018 when Musk shared an image online of him leaning against a Tesla holding a cardboard sign reading “Bankwupt.” He also wrote on Twitter that “despite intense efforts to raise money, including a last-ditch mass sale of Easter Eggs, we are sad to report that Tesla has gone completely and totally bankrupt. So bankrupt, you can’t believe it.”

At the time, it was obvious that Musk was joking around. Who knew just how close to bankruptcy the automaker actually was.

In early 2019, CNBC notes Tesla received a bit of a lifeline when it raised billions of dollars by promoting its self-driving ambitions with the Autonomy Day event. Musk said that the car manufacturer would be able to fund its business needs with existing cash flow at the time and said it was raising money in the event of a recession or weak global demand for vehicles.

Tesla has come a long way since its brush with bankruptcy. Not only is the Model 3 being produced at the company’s main assembly site in California but it is also being produced at the Shanghai Gigafactory which could produce as many as 150,000 Model 3s annually.

Updated: November 4, 2020 — 2:28 pm

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