Elon Musk Admits Tesla Was A Month Away From Bankruptcy When It Increased Model 3 Production

| Last updated 

Elon Musk Admits Tesla Was A Month Away From Bankruptcy When It Increased Model 3 ProductionTesla

Tesla is one of the biggest success stories of the past decade, but it’s not so long ago that the company was battling just to stay afloat.

Elon Musk tweeted last night that the electric car manufacturer was just one month away from bankruptcy when it decided to ramp up production of its Model 3 three years ago.


The Model 3, Tesla’s cheapest car, began mass-production in 2017, but according to Musk, the process was a nightmare from start to finish. Replying to a fan who asked how close the company came to bankruptcy during the Model 3 ramp-up phase, the CEO tweeted that the phase caused ‘extreme stress & pain for a long time’, and was a ‘production and logistics hell’.

The $35,000 vehicle took longer than expected to come off production lines, and the company initially struggled to sell enough of the cars to make a profit. In the first six months, only 1,764 Model 3 cars were sold worldwide. Concerns over Tesla’s profitability continued as recently as 2019, with debts mounting and Musk revealing the company would be forced to shut several of their in-store dealerships.

The revelation confirms just how much of a gamble an electric car startup like Tesla was. Musk put everything he owned into establishing the company in 2003, even having to borrow money from friends to pay his rent.


I put in my last money, even though I thought we would still fail. But, it was either that or certain death for Tesla.

Hannah Smith

In the early years, the company was forced to lay off 18% of its workforce, with Musk saying that the company came three days from bankruptcy in 2008, only to be saved by a $40 million investment that came through on Christmas Eve at the ‘last hour of [the] last day possible’. A few months later, Mercedes owners Daimler invested $50m in the company.


Flash forward to 2020, and record sales have Tesla set to register their first-ever annual profit. Since the dark days of 2017, Tesla has become a trailblazer for electric vehicles, with the Model 3 already the most successful electric car of all time. Don’t give up on your dreams, people.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

Topics: Technology, car, Elon Musk, Production, Tech, Tesla


Business Insider
  1. Business Insider

    Elon musk says Tesla was just a month away from bankruptcy when it ramped up production of the Model 3

Hannah Smith
More like this

Chosen for YouChosen for You


Alec Baldwin says 'everyone on Rust set knows who to blame for Halyna Hutchins' death'

an hour ago

Most Read StoriesMost Read

Mum gives her son lessons at home so he's prepared for a school shooting

17 hours ago