UPDATE 3-Tesla’s bullish production outlook drives stock higher

4 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Elon Musk is looking to acquire companies to speed up production of Tesla’s Model 3.

Elon Musk admitted that Tesla is going to add “some additional constraints” to the recently unveiled Autopilot system in order to “minimize the possibility of people doing crazy things with it” during a quarterly earnings call Tuesday.DETROIT (AP) — Tesla Motors’ net loss more than tripled in the third quarter as expenses and research costs rose, but investors cheered news that the company expects to meet or exceed its production targets this year.

In Tesla’s 12-year history, the company has made only one acquisition: Riviera Tool, a Michigan-based auto supplier, which the electric car maker paid $10 million for in May. The planned restrictions come after a slew of videos hit YouTube showing people turning on Autopilot on curvy backroads without any hands on the wheel. But CEO Elon Musk told investors today (Nov. 3) that he’s open to other such acquisitions if they can help speed up the production of the Model 3, the company’s upcoming, $35,000 mass-market electric car.

Tesla’s loss of $229.9 million, or $1.78 per share, compares to a loss of $74.7 million, or 60 cents per share, in the July-September period a year ago. Ever the perfectionist, Musk has said that he’d rather “forgo revenue, rather than bring a product to market that does not delight customers,” as he explained in a 2014 shareholder letter. Though Musk didn’t specify what kinds of constraints are going to be added to the semi-autonomous driving system, it’s easy to presume that they involve a freeway-only parameter and perhaps an increased sensitivity that prevents drivers from removing their hands for long periods of time from the steering wheel, as I had during my initial test of the system. He also said the system is designed to learn and improve over time. “I don’t think it should be surprising that there were reports of errors,” he said. “The system will learn over time and get better. I would expect that learning to accelerate, and it’ll start to feel quite refined within a few months.” Tesla spent $392 million to expand its Fremont, California, factory for Model X production and continue construction of its battery factory near Reno, Nevada.

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