While Tesla CEO Elon Musk and the rest of the company’s board of directors were posturing as though everything was fine earlier this year – even as the company struggled with ramping its Model 3 production and its CEO became the target of both the SEC and the Department of Justice – the reality of the situation below the surface was far closer to what most skeptics had suggested, according to a bizarre new Axios interview with Musk that aired on HBO Sunday night.
Speaking to Axios, Musk admitted that Tesla “faced a severe threat of death” earlier this year and that it was “bleeding money like crazy” as it worked through its crucial Model 3 production ramp. In the interview, Musk admitted that the company “came within single-digit” weeks of death before it was able to meet its production goals.
Echoing sentiments he made to the New York Times earlier this year, Musk admitted that working non-stop during the production ramp also took a “very painful” toll on him personally.
“It hurts my brain and my heart. It hurts. It is not recommended for anyone. I just did it because if I didn’t do it… there was a good chance Tesla would die.”
Musk also said there was a 70% chance that he would wind up riding one of his SpaceX rockets to Mars personally.