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Elon Musk Wants to Cut Tesla Spending, “At Least for the Next 4.5 Weeks”

September 4, 2016, 5:52 PM UTC
Tesla CEO Elon Musk
Tesla CEO Elon Musk
Photograph by Bloomberg via Getty Images

Bloomberg has acquired an internal email from Tesla CEO Elon Musk to employees, in which Musk encourages cost-cutting and a productivity push for the remainder of the current quarter.

Tesla needs to raise more capital soon to fund the spin-up of Model 3 production, construction of its Gigafactory battery facility, and a planned acquisition of SolarCity. In the email, sent on August 29th, Musk writes that showing “at least slightly positive cash flow” ahead of that raise would be “awesome.”

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“The simple reality of it is that we will be in a far better position to convince potential investors to bet on us if the headline is not ‘Tesla Loses Money Again,’ but rather ‘Tesla Defies All Expectations and Achieves Profitability.’”

Financial concerns have contributed to a sharp drop in Tesla’s stock price in recent days. The destruction of a SpaceX rocket on September 1st arguably piled on the pressure by casting a shadow on Musk’s other company. And as we recently reported, Tesla has become more aggressive about unconventional accounting to put a positive spin on its numbers.

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Musk does offer some comfort to Tesla employees fearing ongoing austerity, though, with an obvious focus on the shorter term. He says the company should be “trimming any cost that isn’t critical, at least for the next 4.5 weeks.”

Along with cost-cutting, Musk also wants to push to deliver “every car we possibly can,” to help meet Tesla’s goal of delivering 80,000 cars this year.

A Tesla spokesperson confirmed the authenticity of the memo to Bloomberg.