Tesla Files IPO Papers, Ending Production of Electric Roadster in 2011

Tesla Roadster Sport photo

Tesla Roadster Sport. Photo: Michael Graham Richard
Who Wants to Own a Piece of Tesla?
Tesla Motors has announced in a short press release that they have filed the S-1 Registration Statement required for an initial public offering (IPO). The date of the IPO and initial share price are not known yet, but the word on the street is that Tesla hopes to raise as much as $100 million This announcement has been expected from Tesla for a while, but the recent $465 million loan by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) might have been the last missing piece of the puzzle missing before Tesla could go public. Also buried within the IPO paper is an important bit of info about the future of the electric Roadster, the only model currently sold by Tesla.
tesla motors logo photo

Photo: Michael Graham Richard
End of the Road for Roadster
Our friends at Autopia are reporting that the IPO filing paper contain this line: "We do not plan to sell our current generation Tesla Roadster after 2011 due to planned tooling changes at a supplier for the Tesla Roadster."

This is probably a reference to Lotus's factory in Hethel, England, where a large fraction of the Tesla Roadsters are built. This isn't the end for the Roadster, though. Tesla plans to start selling a replacement, but not "until at least one year after the launch of the Model S, which is not expected to be in production until 2012."

Tesla Model S Photo

Tesla Model S Electric Sedan. Photo: Michael Graham Richard
Electric Car Savior: Model S
After it stops selling the Roadster, Tesla will be a car company without a car to sell (they'll probably still be selling powertrains to other car companies), so the future of the company will be resting on the Model S being brought to market quickly and selling well (they already have about 2,000 reservations). I'm not sure if the company could afford a big delay in Model S production...

Via Tesla Motors
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