Tesla sinks after missing Model 3 deliveries by a mile (TSLA)

A Tesla Model S electric car

A Tesla Model S electric car

Chief financial officer Deepak Ahuja said during an earnings call in November that cash flow will improve significantly once Tesla ramps up Model 3 output because the company will collect money from customers before paying its suppliers. Previously, Tesla was hoping to reach the 5,000/per week rate by the end of March.

The delay sent shares of the Palo Alto, California-based company down 3.5 percent in pre-market trading Thursday.

Tesla produced more vehicles than in previous quarters.

Tesla says that it has spent the last three months addressing the "production bottlenecks" on the Model 3 line, and production will now rise sharply.

A Tesla Model S vehicle is seen in a showroom in Santa Monica, California, US, January 4, 2018.

Tesla said it will have a more gradual ramp through the first quarter "to focus on quality and efficiency rather than simply pushing for the highest possible volume in the shortest period of time".

Tesla said it reduced production of its Model S and Model X in the fourth quarter to put more of its workers on the Model 3.

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Analysts have again expressed concern over whether Tesla can secure the gross margins on the cars it is aiming for, whether customers will still want the vehicle, and how slower production rates affect the company's other capital-intensive ambitions. "We have them hovering about $1 billion in cash". From a slow start, the company believes it now has the capacity to knock out 1,000 Model 3s each week, and 2018 will see even bigger milestones.

The electric-car maker said it delivered 1,550 Model 3 sedans in the fourth quarter, a bit more than half of the 2,917 that Wall Street analysts were expecting.

It'll take Tesla another three months to double that number.

Beyond the Model 3, Tesla's overall vehicle deliveries were on target for the fourth quarter and the year as a whole.

Still, it was able to complete the cross-country journey in just 50 hours, using $100 to charge their Model 3 in that time.

"We're also very appreciative of our Model 3 customers, who continue to stick by us while patiently waiting for their cars".

"Tesla has really lofty goals for automation", Tasha Keeney, an analyst at ARK Investment Management, which holds Tesla shares, said in a phone interview. The company said it made significant progress on speeding up manufacturing of the sedan late last month, producing 793 units in the last seven working days. Cowen's Osborne wrote in a report to clients Wednesday that the carmaker may need to raise more capital again in the next three to six months. Tesla said it was its "all-time best quarter" for combined Model S and Model X deliveries.

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