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Elon Musk's Tesla burns $675.3m in largest ever quarterly loss

$250k went into orbit with that Roadster

Elon Musk may be entertaining world+dog with his impressive space invasion but back on terra firma his electric car biz Tesla has just reported its fattest ever quarterly loss.

The car and battery biz hemorrhaged $675.4m in the three months ending 31 December compared with a loss of $121m for the same period the previous year.

Tesla has been digging deep into its pockets as it rolls out the next generation of electric cars, the Model 3 sedan.

The company has failed to keep up with its production targets for the model, having made just 2,425 in the fourth quarter, with 500,000 folk on the waiting list.

In an earnings call, Musk said: "We continue to make significant progress every day, and we're targeting a weekly production rate of 2,500 vehicles by the end of March and 5,000 by the end of Q2. And as you've seen in the letter, the quarter-over-quarter production of Model 3 is rising exponentially.

"So I'm hopeful that people think that if we can send a Roadster to the asteroid belt, we could probably solve Model 3 production. It's just a matter of time, and really error bars on the timing are really quite small in the grand scheme of things."

Musk confirmed the business was on track to produce 1 million cars by 2020.

Meanwhile, revenues for calendar Q4 of 2017 revved up: automotive sales rose to $2.409bn from $1.739bn, while energy generation and storage increased to $298.03m from $131.38m.

Asked whether his successor might be someone from within the company, Musk replied: "There's not even an active or passive search going on for a new CEO of Tesla. I expect to remain CEO for the foreseeable future." ®

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