DOJ Is Reportedly Investigating Tesla's Claims About Its Model 3 Production

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation is reportedly deepening a criminal investigation into Tesla to determine if the electric automaker misstated production information regarding its Model 3 sedan and thus, misled investors. Gross margins on the Model 3 are above even the company's own lofty expectations and its position as the 5th most popular auto by volume in the USA suggests it's drawing in a wide range of customers despite its comparatively high price point.

Musk said he expected the company to make even more Model 3 vehicles in the current quarter and to begin delivering the cars in Europe and China early next year.

"The product I'm genuinely most excited about is the Tesla semi", he said without providing more insight about the new semi truck.

Both Tesla and Musk must pay a $20 million fine, and Musk must give up his chairman role for three years as the company appoints an independent chair.

Ellison's comments came a day after Tesla posted a surprise profit for the third quarter, beating analysts' expectations.

For the same period a year earlier, the company reported a loss of US$619 million. On Wednesday, she to Musk and Tesla's board of directors, imploring them not to take the company private. That was the equivalent of $1.75 per share, up from a loss of $3.70 per share in 2017. "Producing cars in that region will significantly lower the cost of the vehicles (lower tariffs, labor and delivery costs)".

The Tesla spokesperson said the company had been "transparent" about "how hard it would be" to meet targets. Shortening the time cars are in transit so that revenue can hit the books more quickly would shorten its cash conversion cycle, boosting cash flow.

Ellison later acknowledged that Musk has had trouble achieving goals to ramp up production of the Model 3 under the timelines he's set to motivate Tesla's employees. The starting price for the Model 3 was United States dollars 49,000 in the quarter, but the Company is working to bring the price to USD 35,000.

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Musk said: "Around mid 2019". The exact statement was as follows: "In order to significantly increase the affordability of Model 3, we have chose to accelerate our manufacturing timeline in China".

The Model 3 would be available in Australia and the United Kingdom in about the middle of next year, he said yesterday.

Musk acknowledged in April that Tesla had attempted to automate too many production tasks at the Fremont factory and would use more human workers in the assembly process. It will let customers loan out their cars to users, as well as include a fleet of self-driving cars that can pick up passengers.

Musk also told investors that Tesla has plans to expand into mobility services, saying that it "will operate its own ride-hailing services and compete directly with Uber and Lyft, obviously".

Musk, 47, made earlier predictions related to the Model 3 that were even more outlandish than the ones he gave previous year.

Production is to initially take place in California, but Tesla is "moving rapidly" to get production going in China and wants to have that going next year, he said.

Tesla, Inc shares were trading at $314.86 per share on Thursday afternoon, up $26.36 (+9.14%).