Tesla faces billions of dollars in losses from its new factories, supply chain problems, and Covid lockouts-enough for CEO Elon Musk to mention the possibility of bankruptcy in a recent interview.
"The last two years have been an absolute nightmare of supply chain disruptions, one thing after another," Musk
said in an interview with a Tesla owners' group. "We're not out of it yet. Our biggest concern is how to keep the factories operating so we can pay people and not go bankrupt."
Musk did hyperbole elsewhere in the interview, and may have done so when mentioning the risk of bankruptcy.
For example, he said that automakers in general "desperately want to go bankrupt," which falls into the category of figure of speech rather than strict financial analysis.
But the company is coming to the end of its most difficult quarter, financially speaking, in more than two years.
Tesla's Shanghai plant has been shut down for weeks due to Covid-related blockades in the city.
And Musk revealed in the interview that the two factories Tesla opened in the quarter, in Germany and
Texas , are costing the company billions of dollars in losses because supply chain problems have left them with "negligible" production so far.
"This is all going to be fixed very quickly," he said in comments recorded May 31 but not released until Wednesday.
"The Berlin and Austin plants are giant money furnaces now. There is a giant roar that is the sound of money catching
fire. Bigger than a dump [fire]. A dumpster is too small. Berlin and Austin are losing billions of dollars right now. There's a ton of expenses and almost no production."