Tesla 'quite likely' to meet Model 3 goal; Elon Musk remains chairman

Tesla got a head start in the premium electric vehicle segment

Tesla 'quite likely' to meet Model 3 goal; Elon Musk remains chairman

After addressing concerns about Model 3 production and pricing and announcing a new Gigafactory for building batteries in Shanghai, he casually mentioned that next month the company would be offering free trials of the car's semi-autonomous software, Autopilot. Earlier this week, analytics firm Second Measure put out a report saying that nearly 25 percent of the $1,000 deposits put down on Model 3 cars have been refunded as consumers have exhausted of waiting for their vehicles to be delivered. That had represented the strongest challenge yet to Musk's grip on the Silicon Valley electric vehicle maker, which also faces production setbacks and expectations by many analysts that it will need to raise new cash.

Tesla's shareholders have offered a show of support for Elon Musk, rejecting a proposal to strip him of the chairman post, even after a string of issues at the electric vehicle maker.

A consumer data research organization recently suggested that customers are increasingly requesting refunds on their Tesla orders.

During an earnings call in May, Musk said Tesla was on the road to hitting goals in coming months for the more affordable Model 3 and achieving profitability by the end of this year.

Tesla is getting close to hitting a key production target, company CEO Elon Musk said at the electric auto maker's annual shareholder meeting on Tuesday.

A previously reported shareholder proposal to force Tesla to have an independent chairman of the board, a position now held by Tesla co-founder and CEO Elon Musk, didn't pass a shareholder vote.

Moments after the vote, Musk - who appeared emotional as his voice quivered - said the company has experienced "the most excruciating hellish several months that we've ever had".

"At Tesla we build our cars with love", Musk said, visibly moved. Tesla shares are down about 7% so far this year. "We're not flawless but we pour our heart and soul into it and we really care".

An individual shareholder had also put forth a proposal that would have required an independent chairman, which was backed by proxy advisers Institutional Shareholder Services and Glass Lewis, but was ultimately voted down.

"We've made a lot of mistakes with Model 3 production", said Musk.

Tesla has been burning through so much cash - more than $1 billion during the first three months of this year alone - that investors have been worrying it will have to sell more stock or add to its already hefty debt load to raise enough money to survive. The factory would be in Shanghai, and Tesla was now in talks with the Chinese government, an executive said.

One investor wanted to strip the Tesla founder and chief executive of his other role as chairman. Musk owns a 20 percent stake in the company.

The push has now failed as shareholders are apparently siding with Tesla's board.

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