Tesla is 'very close' to profitability, Musk says in staff email

Tesla is 'very close' to profitability, Musk says in staff email

Still, despite the ever-present controversy and turmoil surrounding Musk and his baby, Tesla still has a ton of believers on social media.

The row began in August when Musk (47) tweeted that he was considering taking Tesla private at $420 a share and had secured funding. The appointment of two new Board members, as well as the creation of a committee tasked with "placing additional controls and procedures to oversee" Musk's communications, were warmly received by the Tesla community as well.

An army of Tesla-owning volunteers swooped in over the weekend to help deliver cars to new buyers while Musk cheered on his employees, telling them in emails to "ignore all distractions" and that they were on the cusp of "an epic victory beyond all expectations".

Musk and Tesla will each pay $20 million under the settlement, the SEC said in a statement Saturday.

"The $40 million in penalties will be distributed to harmed investors under a court-approved process", the SEC said.

The SEC's lawsuit had sought to bar Musk from serving as an officer or director of a public company, a prospect that rattled investors.

Less than two days later, Musk and the SEC reached an agreement, in which he would step down as chairman for three years and pay a $20 million fine.

Tesla in recent years has become one of the most valuable American auto maker, with its stock worth more than $50 billion. Tesla had come under criticism for years prior to Musk's take-private episode for lax governance, though shareholders sided with the board in June by voting against an independent chairman proposal and approving the re-election of three directors.

Musk said he later decided against the plan. On Friday, its stock dropped nearly 14 per cent.

"The resolution is meant to prevent further market disruption and harm to Tesla's shareholders", SEC co-director of enforcement Steven Peikin said.

"Both sides have pulled back, taken a deep breath and realized that in the interest of the company, its shareholders, they need to put this behind them", said Stephen Crimmins, a former SEC enforcement lawyer who's now a partner at Murphy & McGonigle.

But its shares have been hit hard since the SEC filed the lawsuit.

The company is expected to release quarterly production numbers this week for the Model 3, seen by analysts as crucial to the carmaker's drive to achieve long-term profitability.

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