That was another close one.
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Elon Musk revealed on Twitter Tuesday that Tesla was one month away from bankruptcy during the 2017-2019 ramp of Model 3 production.
The Tesla CEO was commenting on a tweet noting the 12-year anniversary of a $40 million loan the then-private company received in 2008 to avoid bankruptcy at the time. He explained that the cash was enough to cover six months of operations and was followed by $50 million from Daimler five months later that put it on more stable footing.
Asked by a follower how close Tesla came to going bankrupt as it worked to launch the Model 3, Musk tweeted: “Closest we got was about a month. The Model 3 ramp was extreme stress & pain for a long time — from mid 2017 to mid 2019. Production & logistics hell.”
Musk didn’t clarify at what points during that period things were that dire, but the company was in the red for all but two quarters between September 2016 and September 2019. He spent time sleeping at the company's Fremont, Calif., factory to oversee operations during the period and held an infamous 2018 earnings call in which he told analysts: "Boring, bonehead questions are not cool.”
Tesla stock closed on Tuesday at $423.90, giving it a market cap over $400 billion, and making it worth more than Toyota, Volkswagen, GM, and Ford combined.