Elon Musk admitted that Tesla was "weeks" away from death earlier in the year as it struggled to meet production targets for Model 3.
Talking to Axios on HBOThe billionaire revealed how the strain of last year harmed his physical and mental health.
"Tesla actually faced this year's death threat due to the Model 3 production ramp," he said. "We were within weeks of a digit."
Musk said the company was "bleeding money like crazy and if we did not solve those problems in a very short period of time we would die, and it was extremely difficult to solve them."
After losing several self-imposed deadlines, Tesla finally reaches its production target of 5000 3s models per week in the last seven days of June. Last month, the company reported its first quarterly profit since 2016, surprising analysts.
"I worked seven days a week, sleeping in the factory. I was at the paint shop, at the general assembly, at the workshop, "Musk told HBO.
Asked if he cared about himself "imploding," Musk said, "Yes, absolutely, no one should put so many hours at work." This is not good, people should not work so hard. It hurts my brain and my heart.
Before reaching its production target, Tesla was facing about $ 1 billion in debt repayments – about $ 230 million maturing in November – without enough money to keep the company running.
"I have already said before that we must prove that Tesla can be profitable in a sustainable way," he told reporters during the release of results last month. "This quarter was an important step for that."
Musk advised clients that they paid for their Model 3 deposits in March 2016 that the first deliveries in Australia will occur "by mid-2019."
After taxes and import taxes, the cheaper Model 3 will be about $ 80,000 by car, putting it on par with a Mercedes-Benz C300 or Audi A4 2.0 TFSI quattro.
The high-profile chief executive of the electric car maker has been through a tumultuous year marked by personal and professional scandals.
He stepped down last month as part of a $ 40 million deal with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which claimed that Musk tricked investors with a series of tweets in August, suggesting he had funds for the private company.
Musk is also being sued for defamation by British diving expert Vernon Unsworth – who helped rescue the Thai cave earlier this year – by calling him "daddy's face" in an extraordinary Twitter attack.
Originally published as Tesla's "weeks of death" this year