Tesla reports $702m quarterly loss

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Tesla Model 3Image source, AFP
Image caption,
Tesla has stepped up production of its mid-market Model 3 car

Tesla reported a loss of $702m for the first three months of the year and predicted another loss for the three months after.

The electric car and battery maker said it would return to profit in the third quarter.

It ended March with $2.2bn in cash, a reduction of $1.5bn in three months, largely down to it repaying a $920m bond.

The firm said it still plans to deliver 360,000 to 400,000 vehicles in 2019.

"As the impact of higher deliveries and cost reduction take full effect, we expect to return to profitability" in the third quarter "and significantly reduce our loss" in the second quarter, the company said in a statement.

"Given the less than glowing trend for profitability in car manufacturing, it's perhaps no surprise the company has sought to turn attention back to technology and other potential sources of revenue," said Nicholas Hyett, an equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown.

Yesterday, Tesla chief executive Elon Musk said he expected the firm to have self-driving "robotaxis" on the road by 2020.

The entrepreneur made the pledge as he announced an improved microchip for its driverless vehicles.

Mr Musk told investors he expected regulators to approve ride-hailing in some areas for autonomous vehicles.

He added: "I feel very confident in predicting autonomous robotaxis next year."