The pop in Tesla’s share price is striking, he said, because the already cash-strapped Tesla just essentially made another financial commitment.
“Even though a Gigafactory in China has been anticipated, now they have an agreement to finance the building of it,” he said. “That will put pressure on an already stressed balance sheet.”
Even prior to Tuesday’s announcement many on Wall Street expected Tesla will need to raise capital sometime in the near future. Excluding its new commitments in China, Tesla will still have to raise $2 billion-$3 billion as an operational cushion some time around the first quarter of next year, Levy said.
On the other hand, China is on its way to becoming the world’s largest market for electric vehicles, and Tesla stands to sell a lot of cars there, he said.
Here is a full statement from Tesla:
“Last year, we announced that we were working with the Shanghai Municipal Government to explore the possibility of establishing a factory in the region to serve the Chinese market. Today, we have signed a Cooperative Agreement for Tesla to start building Gigafactory 3, a new electric vehicle manufacturing facility in Shanghai.
We expect construction to begin in the near future, after we get all the necessary approvals and permits. From there, it will take roughly two years until we start producing vehicles and then another two to three years before the factory is fully ramped up to produce around 500,000 vehicles per year for Chinese customers. Tesla is deeply committed to the Chinese market, and we look forward to building even more cars for our customers here.
Today’s announcement will not impact our U.S. manufacturing operations, which continue to grow.”