Musk Lashes Out as Tesla Posts Huge Loss Amid Production Delays

Electric car maker Tesla barely beat Wall Street's revenue expectations for the third quarter of this year, pulling in $2.98 billion, while reporting a delay in production of its entry-level sedan and posting a loss far worse than analysts had forecast.

Tesla is one of the most closely watched tech companies in the Bay Area, where its zero-emissions vehicles resonate with environmental sensibilities and where Musk is widely admired as a visionary. But with that attention has come a great deal of scrutiny, and criticism over labor issues in its plant, along with customer complaints about materials and workmanship, and frequent production delays with all of its vehicles.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Wednesday downplayed the delay for the Model 3, and he railed at media reports about job cuts at the company.

Musk also announced his firm had hit a milestone, delivering a quarter million vehicles to date.

"The Tesla fleet has grown by a factor of 100 in five years," Musk said in a conference call with analysts.

Wall Street had anticipated quarterly revenue for Tesla of $2.93 billion, and a $496 million loss.

Tesla on Wednesday announced a much higher loss of $619.4 million.

Analysts had expected losses per share would amount to $2.80, but the losses instead were much larger at $3.70 a share.

Musk took aim at media reports that described job losses at Tesla as large-scale layoffs, while the company maintains that it shed workers as a result of a routine annual performance review.

"Any journalists who have written articles to this effect should be ashamed of themselves," Musk said. "Any company in the world does annual performance reviews."

Musk said 700 workers had been let go, suggesting they had lost their jobs because of their performance-review results.

Among the employees to be shown the door were some openly supporting unionization at Tesla's Fremont plant....

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