Gawker reports that Tesla spinmeister Daryl Siry left the Silicon Valley startup because CEO Elon Musk (above) was pushing to accept deposits on the Model S sedan. The Model S (a.k.a. WhiteStar) exists only as a prototype. Tesla has no factory or financing with which to build it. When Musk announced that the DOE would approve Tesla’s loan application (they haven’t and likely won’t) and decided to accept $40K Model S deposits (next month), Siry smelled fraud and bailed. Valleywag calls Musk “The New Preston Tucker,” revealing that Musk told a recent Tesla “town hall” meeting that Tesla deposits were not guaranteed. This despite earlier assurances that Musk would personally guarantee deposits. With reports of Tesla asking for up to $75K in unescrowed “reservation payments,” and difficulty reclaiming deposits as small as $5K, Siry’s fears were probably well-founded. Meanwhile, anecdotal evidence from Tesla forums indicates that the real winner here: the Fisker Karma.
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