Tesla is taking big investors for a joy ride in the Model 3

Key Points
  • Tesla is hosting a private Model 3 event this weekend in Brooklyn.
  • It follows a period of steep losses at Tesla and Model 3 manufacturing struggles.
Tesla is inviting institutional investors for a joy ride in the Model 3

Tesla is inviting institutional investors to take a joy ride in the Model 3 this weekend.

An invitation, which was viewed by CNBC, was sent to clients and prospective clients of UBS. It says drivers at the closed-door event will be accompanied by Tesla representatives and barred from taking photos or videos.

The event will take place at Tesla's Red Hook showroom and service center on Saturday. A Tesla spokesperson didn't respond to a request for comment.

Earlier this week, Tesla also hosted Wall Street analysts at various events. Teams from RBC Capital Markets and Goldman Sachs, for example, were permitted to drive the Model 3 (at least for a few blocks) accompanied by representatives from Tesla investor relations.

Firms including Goldman and RBC issued favorable reviews of the Model 3 in updated notes on Tesla this week. However, the Model 3 has yet to be tested by the most influential car critics and auto trade publications.

Tesla has been beset by production delays for its Model 3 sedans, attributing the problems to suppliers. The Model 3 concept was first announced by CEO Elon Musk in March 2016. Musk said in July that Tesla would probably be making 20,000 Model 3s per month by December.

But Tesla now expects its production rate for Model 3s to hit 5,000 units a week by the end of March. As of its latest earnings report, Tesla said it had only produced 260 Model 3s.

Would-be owners put down a refundable $1,000 deposit to preorder the car. They may not be eligible to recoup a $7,500 federal tax credit for electric vehicles if production is delayed too long, according to Greentech Media.

Nomura Instinet's Romit Shah has given the car a test drive. He reiterated a buy rating on Tesla and compared the brand to Apple. Tesla holds so much sway with consumers that he expects them to forgive reasonable delays and buy the company's cars with or without EV tax credits.

Tesla reported losses of $1.66 billion in the first three quarters of the year, and some investors are now questioning if the company has enough cash and credit to hit its Model 3 goals and more.

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