Tesla turns to Model Y, as Model 3 slowly exits "production hell"

Elon Musk shows off the dummy that's going to Mars in a Tesla

One of the founders of PayPal, Musk is now co-founder and CEO of Tesla - an electric auto company - and the founder and CEO of SpaceX - the company behind the rocket, Falcon Heavy, which was launched Tuesday.

Musk's Tesla electric vehicle and energy storage company lost $675.4m in the three months ending December 31, the company announced on Thursday, February 8, compared with a loss of $121m for the same period a year ago.

The electric auto company continues to predict it will be able to produce 5,000 Model 3 vehicles a week by the end of the second quarter of this year.

SpaceX, the galactic exploration company founded by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, has launched a rocket towards Mars carrying an interesting payload. His electric vehicle (and some cleverly placed trinkets) is now in space, helmed by a spacesuit-clad dummy named "Starman" in the driver's seat.

One of the most striking aspects of this week's launch of the Falcon Heavy rocket is the number of engines the triple-core booster used to reach orbit.

Since Tesla wants to build a system that's more generally useful, it made sense for the company to not push ahead with this past year and try to do it probably. Clement Thibault, a senior analyst with the web site Investing.com, grumbled about Musk's recent fundraising efforts for The Boring Co., his new tunnel-drilling company.

But it was also a year of manufacturing setbacks that Musk said, last quarter, had put the Model 3 "deep in production hell". (That will make the range from Model S, 3, X and Y).

Some analysts had predicted that sales of the Model 3 would cannibalize sales of the more expensive vehicles. "Service and other revenue decreased by 5% compared to 3Q17 but increased by 81% compared to 4Q16", according to the report.

Musk revealed his most recent plan at a conference in Australia a year ago.

Tesla Inc. hasn't thrown its plan to demonstrate an autonomous cross-country drive out the window - it's just tapped the brakes.

For the Model 3, Tesla removed the instrument cluster to bring even more attention to a 15-inch touchscreen display that controls numerous car's interior features.

CEO PAY: This will be Musk's first earnings call since last month's announcement of a proposed all-or-nothing pay package for him. Tesla fans will certainly hope that it gets it done in three months instead of six. The Roadster image will get people around the world excited. Elon Musk once described the cost difference at a briefing I attended in 2011 this way: Imagine if every time you flew on an airplane, the airline threw away the airplane, how much do you think the flight would cost?

More information was also shared about Tesla's planned ridesharing network, which first was first posted on Tesla's website at the end of 2016 with a mention that more details would be released the following year, but have yet to materialize.

The BFR could be ready for a test flight in about three or four years, Musk said.

The company released its Q4 2017 result on Wednesday night in the U.S., reporting negative free cash flow of $276.8 million - the lowest in more than a year - and $675 million in losses attributable to shareholders; notching up nearly $2 billion in losses for the whole year.

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