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Tesla Week: Media Begins Death Watch

Brooke Crothers, Forbes

This week the media started entertaining the possibility of the company’s demise as it faced a rash of especially bad financial news and a deadly Model X crash.

Tesla’s Model 3 production woes are well-known, evidenced by the fact that it has taken this long to hit around 1,000 Model 3’s produced per week.

But things took a sinister turn in the markets (and the media) after Moody’s Investors Service downgraded Tesla’s debt on Tuesday, citing, among other things, “liquidity pressures due to its large negative free cash flow.”

These cash needs will likely require Tesla to undertake a near-term capital raise exceeding $2 billion. — Moody’s downgrades Tesla’s corporate family rating to B3, senior notes to Caa1. Outlook is negative. March 27, 2018

That triggered concerns that Tesla could run out of money by the end of the year. And Tuesday afternoon the stock went south.

That’s when the media started asking hard questions.

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