Tesla is rallying after Musk fires back about Model 3 production reports

Asa Mathat | D: All Things Digital

  • TeslaCEO Elon Musk engaged in a testy Twitter exchange Monday evening with a reporter over a story about a manufacturing shakeup on its Model 3 sedan.
  • Shares of the automaker rose 1.4% in early trading Tuesday.
  • The company’s book value has declined by $US33.7 billion in six weeks amid a string of bad news.
  • Watch Tesla’s stock price move in real time here.

Shares of Tesla rose as much as 1.3% in early trading Tuesday after CEO Elon Musk engaged in a testy Twitter exchange with a reporter over a story about a manufacturing shakeup at the electric automaker.

The report, by Amir Efrati for tech news site The Information on Monday, cited unnamed sources saying Musk himself had jumped in to directly manage Model 3 production as it struggles to meet targets for the mass-market sedan.

The story also said Musk had relieved senior vice president of engineering, Doug Fields, previously of Apple, of some responsibilities in order to directly oversee production himself.

“Can’t believe you’re even writing about this,” Musk wrote. “My job as CEO is to focus on what’s most critical, which is currently Model 3 production. Doug, who I regard as one of the world’s most talented engineering execs, is focused on vehicle engineering.”

Tesla confirmed to Business Insider’s Matt DeBord on Monday that Fields, who came to Tesla in 2013 after working at Apple, was still with the company.

A leaked internal memo obtained by Jalopnik on Monday said Tesla will again fall short of its expected quarterly production numbers, which could be released as soon as Tuesday.

“About a year ago, I asked Doug to manage both engineering & production,” Musk replied again in conversation with The Information’s Efrati. “He agreed that Tesla needed eng & prod better aligned, so we don’t design cars that are crazy hard to build. Right now, tho, better to divide & conquer, so I’m back to sleeping at factory. Car biz is hell … “

Shares of Tesla have declined by 30% since late February amid plunging bond prices, reports of recurring production issues, and a fatal autopilot crash in California that have left investors uneasy.

You can track Tesla’s stock price in real-time here>>

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