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Tesla To Start Model 3 Production By July, Plans To Open 3 More Gigafactories

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For its fourth quarter results, Tesla announced an adjusted loss of 69 cents per share, which is actually less than the expectations of Wall Street analysts of a loss of $1.04 per share.

Tesla also beat its expected revenue of $2.13 billion, as the company reported sales of $2.28 billion. However, a bigger share of the focus is on two other items that Tesla revealed during its earnings report for the fourth quarter and full-year 2016.

Tesla Plans 3 More Gigafactories

Tesla currently has two Gigafactories. One Gigafactory is located in New York, where Tesla is teaming up with Panasonic to produce solar cells and modules that will be used for solar panels and solar glass tile roofs. The other Gigafactory is the one in Nevada, where Tesla is expected to produce its upcoming Model 3 electric vehicle.

In a letter to shareholders, Tesla said that it is planning to finalize the locations of up to three more Gigafactories within the year. There is no information yet on possible locations for the facilities, as the spotlight currently remains on the Nevada Gigafactory and the pending production start of the Model 3.

Tesla To Start Model 3 Production In July

In addition to its plans for up to three more Gigafactories, Tesla noted in the shareholder letter that it is on track to start limited production of the mass-market Model 3 electric vehicle by July. Volume production for the Model 3, meanwhile, is expected to begin in the fourth quarter, ramping up to 5,000 vehicles per week in the period and further up to 10,000 vehicles per week by next year.

Tesla's announcement that it is on track for its Model 3 production plans offers relief for investors, who believe that the mass-market model of the company's electric vehicles presents a chance for the company to swing into profitability.

The stock price of Tesla has been surging recently, with a 43 percent increase over the past three months and rising another 3 percent in extended trading after the company released its earnings report. However, the company has been burning through cash, losing $448 million from operating activities in last year's fourth quarter while planning additional capital expenses of $2 billion to $2.5 billion before the Model 3 is launched.

No Guidance On Vehicle Deliveries For 2017

Interestingly, Tesla did not issue guidance on how many vehicles the company is planning to deliver for the full year.

Guidance for 2016 was 80,000 to 90,000 delivered vehicles, and Tesla fell short of that, as the company was only able to deliver 76,230 vehicles to customers last year. The company noted that for the fourth quarter of 2016, about 2,750 vehicles were not counted as deliveries because customers had not yet physically received the vehicles. If these would be added to the delivery count, Tesla would have come just a shade under its target for 2016.

Tesla now claims that it will deliver 47,000 to 50,000 vehicles, combined for the Model S and Model X, over the first half of this year, representing 61 percent and 71 percent growth, respectively, compared to the first half of last year.

Nevertheless, the focus is now on whether Tesla will be able to meet the high demand for the Model 3 and if the company will be able finally report a profit this year.

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