Wednesday, 20 February, 2019

Musk confirms Tesla Model 3 in Australia, UK by mid 2019

A 2018 Tesla Model 3 electric vehicle is shown in Solana Beach California Musk confirms Tesla Model 3 in Australia, UK by mid 2019
Nellie Chapman | 27 October, 2018, 13:14

Tesla is facing a criminal investigation into whether the electric car-marker misled investors by overstating production forecasts for its Model Three Sedan.

Agents are investigating whether Tesla misled investors by misstating or exaggerating its Model 3 production capabilities and is reviewing numbers dating back to early 2017, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday, citing unnamed sources.

In recent weeks, Federal Bureau of Investigation agents have contacted former Tesla employees asking them for testimony in the criminal case. The WSJ notes that Tesla had stated in September that it responded voluntarily to requests from the DOJ for documents, but did not disclose that the documents might be related to its Model 3 ramp as opposed to Elon Musk's statements on Twitter that eventually led to a civil settlement with the SEC. "Earlier this year, Tesla received a voluntary request for documents from the Department of Justice about its public guidance for the Model 3 ramp", a Tesla spokesperson said in a statement to Fortune.

Musk's settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission was approved by U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan on October 16, the U.S. Department of Justice may still be ongoing, according to the WSJ.

This story is developing and will be updated.

The Model 3 is a key part of Tesla's plan to expand from a niche player in the luxury segment to a vehicle maker with broader appeal. The automaker acknowledged a "production hell" in the ramp up to build the Model 3 sedan, but said several times in 2017 that it could build 5,000 of the sedans by the fourth quarter of 2017.

However the company ended up producing 2,700 Model 3s for all of 2017, and 793 in the last week of 2017.

The news follows this week's earnings call, which revealed how the Model 3's strong sales had propelled the company to an unexpected profit for the quarter, helped it boost cash flow, and underpinned a near 10 per cent jump in its share price. It didn't hit the 5,000-a-week target until June 2018.