By on October 22, 2008

In this breathless interview by an adoring newswoman, Elon Musk says that the Tesla Roadster is doing great! And that Tesla’s OEM supply business is doing great! And that the Silicon Valley electric vehicle maker (retrofitter? is slowing down on WhiteElephant sedan development because it’s the fiscally prudent thing to do so. Musk anticipates some cheap government capital in six months (courtesy of tax payers just like you), so why raise more money now? In other words of wisdom, Tesla’ self-appointed CEO says falling gas prices aren’t a concern for the company’s business plan because gas prices “aren’t the main reason” for buying a hot sports car which is “environmentally friendly.” (Hint: it’s all about green cred.) Officially, Musk has “no comment” about specific time frames for an IPO, but says it’s “within the realm of possibilities” that Tesla will fleece more investors let outsiders buy a piece of the automaker’s mean, green dream sometime next year. Meanwhile, if your idea of great reporting is a newsbabe hanging on every word of a sanctimonious rich guy, today’s your lucky day.

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11 Comments on “Tesla Death Watch 27: Elon Musk Talks IPO...”


  • avatar
    Crash80

    Did I hear him say they were shipping 10 cars a month? Where are these cars….whose got em?

  • avatar
    autonut

    I think Tesla is doing great. Lets face it: they’ve started few years ago from ZERO and they do ship some number of cars to customers today. Yes, they are expensive, but they are fun to drive (according to all reviews) and to be on public roads they’ve mastered not only bureaucracy but crashing tests etc. Volt is at least year, year and a half away form production and when it will come out it will be expensive (not as much as Tesla), much slower and less fun to drive. Reliability? At 100K you don’t ask that question.

  • avatar
    ComfortablyNumb

    All they did was put an electric drivetrain in a Lotus Elise. Once the few hundred people that want a Tesla get one, they’ll close up shop. They aren’t a viable company and likely won’t become one.

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    Explain to me again how a coal fired sports car is environmantally friendly?

  • avatar
    no_slushbox

    They must have heard the rumor that a publicly traded auto company is more likely to get bailed out by the government.

  • avatar
    nocaster

    Yes, go public since so many people are buying stocks right now.

  • avatar

    Normally exclamation points don’t have a place in journalism. But they were very appropriate in this blog.

    At Tesla retail prices, I think buying the thing is all about green cred, and gadget geekery. If the economy weren’t, uh, taking a rest, I wouldn’t expect the drop in gas prices to have much effect.

    @SherbornSean
    It takes fewer units of energy to run a car a given distance on electricity from a power plant than on gasoline in an internal combustion unit. My memory on the precise figure is uncertain, but somewhere betw 1/4 to 1/2 sticks in my head. And you have the advantage of less $ to OPEC. On the other hand, coal is maybe twice (does anyone know precisely?) as co2 intense as oil, so it may be a wash there. you maybe taking the tops off of Appalachian mountains to get the coal, and depositing the dirt and slag in the valleys, killing the streams and the environment for all the people who live there.

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    David,
    You make good points there; I wasn’t trolling to start an electricity vs. oil debate, only to point out that we are talking about a sports car.

    Now I love sports cars, but I am a little sick of companies wrapping themselves in the ‘green’ flag to sell what is essentially a luxury good.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    Poor Elon. Six or so months ago he probably could’ve gotten whatever he wanted for Tesla stock in an IPO. But now? No way.

    It makes me suspect that Musk has spent the last several months trying to “shine’er up for trade-in” but the problems were so deep that they couldn’t get things sufficiently “shiny” before the recession hit. Heck, they might not have their ducks in order now, but the only way they’re going to get the cash to keep going and/or pay off the VCs is to go public.

  • avatar

    Sean,

    It may be naive of me but I’ve thought of Tesla more as creating a halo to wrap around more practical electric cars. Building glorified golf carts hasn’t worked and imo won’t work. I would have hoped that the tesla effort would foster discoveries that would make electrics R Us more practical. So in this case, I think it was reasonable for them to claim green cred. David

  • avatar
    lewissalem

    “WhiteElephant”… Love it…

    To push off development of the White Star is very telling. If I were shoveling money into this company, I would be concerned about delays on this project. The White Star is the Duke Nukem Forever of the automotive industry.


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