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Electric Sportscar Maker Deals With Market 'Freefall'

Late last year, the company was in terrible shape, Musk said, adding that Tesla had made some unwise decisions about suppliers and had overstaffed itself.

But things are looking up, he said.

The company is shipping 10 cars per week and has solved its powertrain issues. It also still has the hottest car on Earth, Musk said. "I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that."

And Musk said he still believes electric cars are the transportation of the future.

"The physicals are so overwhelmingly in favor of electric cars, it's almost silly to look at anything else," he said. "Electricity will [be able to] smack down everything else. I have zero doubt."

He said he believes General Motors Corp. (GM) "is barking up the wrong tree" with plug-in hybrids. Tesla had previously considered and rejected the idea of making one.

Musk also said he's not concerned about Chrysler's plans to roll out electric cars, including an all-electric Dodge sports car.

"I wouldn't put too much stock in the announcement," he said. "They have a long way to go before they get a car on the road."

The company said it would deliver one of three planned models in 2010 -- including the sports car, a Jeep and a minivan -- but didn't say which model it would be. Musk said he doesn't think it will be the sports car, but thinks it's more likely to be the minivan.

"I don't expect them to deliver a Tesla competitor," he said.

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