Tesla Is Setting Money on Fire Even as it Struggles Against Burnout

How long can the employees, and Elon Musk, keep going like this?

Workers assemble cars on the line at Tesla's factory in Fremont. (David Butow/Corbis via Getty Images)
Corbis via Getty Images

At the Tesla Factory one day last week, the place looked like a madhouse, just a tangle of red machines and car skeletons and industrial presses, writes the Washington Post. But the “controlled chaos’ was actually more relaxed than usual, and the engineers were finding a rhythm despite the fact they were involved in a weeks-long sprint.

The Silicon Valley giant is expected to report earning on Wednesday that could include $900 million of losses in the second quarter. The factory has seen disasters and internal paranoia, and its been bad enough that Tesla’s billionaire chief, Elon Musk, described it as “the most excruciating, hellish several months I’ve maybe ever had,” according to the Post. 

Investors are currently worried about how quickly the factory is burning cash, but others see a different risk: Will the frenetic pace lead to widespread burnout for Tesla employees, or even for Musk himself?

Musk has said that Tesla will be profitable in the second half of the year if it can keep producing 5,000 Model 3 sedans a week. The Post writes that the carmaker hit that goal during a week-long manufacturing sprint in late June but it is so far unknown if they have been able to keep that pace.

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