Tesla Was a Month Away From Bankruptcy During Model 3 Production, Elon Musk Tweets
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Tesla's financial struggles have been the subject of many a news story over the past several years, but founder Elon Musk shared Tuesday that the situation has been more dire than the public knew at the time. In a series of Tweets, Musk revealed that Tesla was "about a month" away from bankruptcy between mid-2017 and mid-2019 while it was ramping up Model 3 production.
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.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 3, 2020
The two years of "hell" happened while Tesla was attempting to take the Model 3 from concept to mass production. And it turns out that wasn't the only time Tesla nearly went bankrupt. In 2008, the company secured a $40 million loan that Musk says came in at the "last hour" when Tesla was about three days away from bankruptcy.
That funding round completed 6pm on Christmas Eve in 2008. Last hour of last day possible, as investors were leaving town that night & we were 3 days away from bankruptcy. I put in all money I had, didn’t own a house & had to borrow money from friends to pay rent. Difficult time.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 3, 2020
I put in my last money, even though I thought we would still fail. But, it was either that or certain death for Tesla. Extremely difficult to raise money for an electric car startup (considered super quirky back then), while stalwarts like GM & Chrysler were going bankrupt.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 3, 2020
Though for whatever it's worth, since both near-failures, Tesla's stock (and Musk's net worth) have both gone on to reach all-time highs.