The electric-vehicle company attributed the loss to ramping up Model 3, pushing back its timeline of producing 5,000 Model 3 vehicles a week from the fourth quarter of this year to the first quarter of 2018. The company cited the battery assembly line at its Nevada Gigafactory as the primary constraint in Model 3 production, adding that it will reduce Model S and Model X production by 10 percent in the fourth quarter to move inventory and dedicate more manpower to Model 3 production.
“There are thousands of processes to build the Model 3,” said Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who spoke during an earnings conference call from the Gigafactory. “We can only move as fast as the least competent elements of that mixture."
Automotive revenue during the quarter grew 10 percent to $2.36 billion, the company said after stock markets closed. Shares in Tesla fell 5.0 percent in after-hours trading to $304.90.
The company burned through $1.4 billion in cash during the quarter as it continued to invest heavily in its plants. That's compared with a cash burn of $1.16 billion during the second quarter.
“A continued delay in Model 3 production and bigger losses were not the news hoped for with Tesla’s earnings report,” wrote Michelle Krebs, a senior analyst at Autotrader, in an emailed statement.