Tesla said in February that it expected to start deliveries of the Model 3 this summer, with full production slated for as soon as September. Additionally, the company said last month that it would make as much as $2.5 billion in capital expenditures in advance of the Model 3 introduction. The company also continues to integrate solar-energy provider SolarCity, which Tesla acquired last year for $2.6 billion and which has long been a money-loser. Some investors at the time compared the buyout to a bailout, especially considering that Tesla chief Elon Musk was SolarCity's biggest shareholder. Musk also owned more than 20 percent of Tesla's shares as of the end of last year.
The good news is that Tesla has about 375,000 advance reservations for the Model 3 on the books, each generating a $1,000 refundable deposit for a car expected to have a price tag starting at about $35,000. About half of those pre-orders were generated within the first 24 hours of the car's ordering availability last spring.
That said, Tesla's track record for missing deadlines has spurred some investor skepticism. In this case, Goldman Sachs analyst David Tamberrino hung a "sell" recommendation on Tesla shares in late February, saying it'd miss its Model 3 deadlines and will likely need to raise additional cash by the end of the year. And that it just did.