Tesla shares rise as Elon Musk rips short sellers

Tesla shares rose Monday, one day after CEO Elon Musk warned short sellers that their positions will “explode” in three weeks when the electric car maker provides updates on production levels for its flagship Model 3.

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Musk’s company has been scrambling for months to meet production benchmarks for the Model 3, which have consistently trailed behind Tesla’s projections in recent quarters. Tesla’s current goal calls for production of 5,000 Model 3 sedans per week by the end of June, when the company next reports quarterly earnings.

Tesla’s efforts to build out production capabilities included the establishment of a third production line housed under a tent-like structure at its facility in Fremont, California. Musk, when asked by a Twitter user to react to short sellers who were “freaking out” about the assembly line’s conditions, issued a strong defense.

“They have about three weeks before their short position explodes,” Musk said.

Tesla is the most-shorted stock in the U.S., with more than $12.82 billion bet against the stock, according to S3 Partners data obtained by The Street. Tesla shares have risen steadily since Musk vowed at a recent shareholder meeting that Tesla would achieve profitability in its next fiscal quarter.

Tesla shares rose more than 3% on Monday, closing at $370.83.

Already Tesla’s largest individual shareholder, Musk purchased an additional $25 million in stock last week. Tesla had laid off roughly 9% of its workforce, though Musk stressed the cuts would not impact production.