It's hard enough to make it in the automotive industry, and when news that Ford is cutting some key models due to lack of profitabililty, you know it's even tough for the well-established automakers. So, how's it going for the newcomers? Well, Tesla has had a rough year so far with car crashes (some leading to deaths), production issues, executives leaving, and some poor reviews of the Tesla Model 3, especially the recent one from Consumer Reports.

Tesla Model 3
Tesla can't seem to get the production numbers of its Model 3 quite high enough. (Image: Tesla)

Tesla Model 3 production is slowly righting itself, but that’s just one of the many issues on Tesla’s agenda. The company can’t afford to lose more top-level executives, which recently forced a restructuring of the business at a high level, according to Fortune. The recent accidents that are tied to the automaker’s autopilot feature are being investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board, which we imagine is probably as enjoyable as a colonoscopy.

Additionally, the fact that the company is not yet profitable has to weigh heavy on Elon Musk and his investors. The CEO has said that Tesla will be profitable by the end of 2018, but with all the issues the company is having, we’re starting to wonder if its ambitions were too grand.

You'd think with all the company's issues, it would slow down and focus on the tasks at hand, but Musk doesn't seem to know how to do that. Instead, he tweeted that Tesla could unveil its new Model Y late this year or early next year. The company has a lot on the schedule for the future even without the Model Y, and it can't even put out its smallest and most affordable car without experiencing serious setbacks. Maybe Musk's too ambitious for his own good? Will Tesla survive? 

Some Analysts Say Tesla Is Headed for a Downfall

Tesla model S crashed
Multiple crashes have raised questions about Tesla's Autopilot technology. 

Tesla’s fans and the CEO himself would never admit it, but the company’s problems aren’t easy to fix. While the automaker is dealing with all of the issues listed above, it’s also watching more well-established manufactures make serious strides in EV technology.

Kristina Church of Barclays Equity Research recently told Forbes, “We think German (manufacturers) are about to launch an onslaught of attractive and profitable electric products. We expect them to hit targets. The German model of a harmonious blend of robot and human, perfected over 100 years, will ensure a speedy and efficient production ramp.”

It would seem that Church is correct. We’re already seeing Audi, Porsche, and Mercedes put out more electric and plug-in hybrid cars. Jaguar is another European company that will challenge the American electric car maker with its new E-Pace. Church isn’t the only analyst that has these views. Analysts at Morgan Stanley have said similar things and noted to Forbes that this year and specifically the next few months will be critical for the automaker.

Others are More Optimistic About the Company’s Future

Tesla Model 3
If Tesla can produce its Model 3 at high volume, the company would have far fewer problems. (Image: Tesla)

While many industry analysts say Tesla is on the brink of collapse, there are others who say Musk is smart enough to get his company back on track. “Tesla will learn from its mistakes fast, and I’m pretty sure Elon Musk will succeed in fixing this Model 3 production problem … I’m quite sure Tesla will make it,” said Stefan Bratzel professor with the Center of Automotive Management to Forbes.

While Tesla might be able to get its Model 3 production going smoothly, the company still has plenty of other stressors to deal with, including a mountain of debt and an ever-fluctuating stock price. Michael Ramsey of Gartner told Mercury News that that’s nothing new. “It’s literally been the case that since they’ve been a public company that they’ve been in a tenuous financial situation,” he said.

CFRA analyst Efraim Levy told Mercury News that the scariest thing for Tesla would be if demand for its products started to fall. If that were to happen, the company would be in some serious trouble. Levy said that if the company could get the Model 3 out to its roughly half a million pre-order customers, then it will be fine. “It would produce a huge amount of revenue,” he said.

Tesla’s production woes are linked to the way in which it tried to run its assembly line. Max Warburton analyst for Bernstein told Mercury News that its Tesla’s automation practices in the Model 3 production line that are causing many of the issues. “Automation in final assembly doesn’t work,” he said.

At the moment, with the company’s legions of fans, it looks as though Tesla will pull through. With that said, we wonder how many more problems can arise before the company would admit defeat.