Tesla losses spike as it fights to ramp up Model 3

Tesla losses spike as it fights to ramp up Model 3

While one of Elon Musk’s companies is celebrating after launching the world’s most powerful rocket into space, another company is fighting for liftoff back on Earth.

Tesla (TSLA) said Wednesday that its losses soared to $675 million in the final three months of 2017, up from $121 million in the same period a year earlier, as the company worked to ramp up production for the Model 3 sedan.

It was the largest quarterly loss in Tesla’s history, but narrower than Wall Street had expected. Tesla’s stock was essentially flat in after hours trading Wednesday following the earnings report.

Tesla has struggled to overcome bottlenecks and delays in producing the more affordable Model 3, with the hope of becoming a truly mainstream car maker.

“We were in a deeper level of Hell than we expected,” Musk said on a conference call with analysts Wednesday. In particular, Musk noted unexpected difficulties with producing battery modules for the Model 3.