PALO ALTO (CBS SF / CNN) — Tesla has become the most valuable and (by some measures) the most profitable automaker in the world. But a short while ago, the Bay Area based manufacturer of electric vehicles nearly toppled into bankruptcy.

CEO Elon Musk tweeted this week that the company was within a month of filing for bankruptcy when it was struggling to bring its best-selling vehicle, the Model 3 sedan, to market.

“Closest we got was about a month,” he said when asked via Twitter how close Tesla got to bankruptcy. “The Model 3 ramp was extreme stress & pain for a long time — from mid 2017 to mid 2019. Production & logistics hell.”

Tesla was in a serious cash crunch as losses mounted and it struggled to hit various production targets for the Model 3. But Musk hadn’t previously disclosed the company was close to filing for bankruptcy — although he did joke about a bankruptcy filing in a separate tweet on April Fool’s Day in 2018.

Today, Tesla’s struggles seem to be ancient history.

Tesla has recently reported record, sustained profits, an industry-leading profit margin and strong cash flows. And the stock has responded in kind, with shares of Tesla soaring more than 400% this year.

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