Tesla has a new crossover, a semi, and a Roadster in the pipeline, but CEO Elon Musk is adamant the automaker doesn’t need to raise new capital to fund those projects. An analyst from Goldman Sachs disagrees, and suggested Tesla needs a big round number to make it happen: $10 billion.
The Goldman analyst, David Tamberrino, said in a research note released Thursday that Tesla may need that kind of loot to fund its operations, the new products, and a move into China, reports Bloomberg. It’ll certainly need new factory space for the upcoming Model Y crossover; Musk says a production site will be announced no later than the fourth quarter of 2018. That may sound like a lot, but Tesla has a lot in the works right now.
Here’s more from Bloomberg:
“We see several options available to the company to refinance maturing debt and raise incremental funds, which should allow Tesla to fund its growth targets,” Tamberrino wrote. “However, issuing incremental debt (including priming current creditors with secured debt) may weigh on the credit profile of the company while issuing additional equity or convertibles at lower premiums would dilute current shareholders.”
Musk, who co-founded the electric-car maker and serves as chairman and chief executive officer, is furiously cutting costs to avoid raising capital this year. He insists he won’t have to, cutting off analysts who asked probing questions on a conference call this month. The company is struggling to meet production targets on its first mass-produced vehicle, the Model 3, and burned through more than $1 billion in the first quarter.
A Tesla spokesperson said the company had no comment on Goldman’s estimate.
The company has struggled with the launch of its more-affordable all-electric sedan, pushing back production targets twice and spurring analysts to assert that Musk needs to raise more funding to support Tesla’s day-to-day work.
Tesla’s assembly plant in Fremont, California, is working 24/7 right now to speed up production of the Model 3. Musk believes Tesla will become profitable by the third quarter of this year, when he expects the automaker to be churning out 5,000 Model 3s per week.