Now you may think that Tesla Motors, makers of the $109K+ lithium-ion powered Roadster, are acting in good faith re: taking deposits for their recently revealed Model S sedan. If so, GreenTech Media’s report that the Musk-scented company has secured 520 advance orders for the vehicle is a good thing: a sign of early adopters’ faith in Tesla’s ability to design, build and, eventually, sell the all-electric foor-door. Leaving aside Tesla’s past history of missing deadlines and changing announced specifications. With eyes wide shut, the fact that Tesla has collected $5K per car from 520 prospective customers, generating some $2.6M, is a good thing. Nothing wrong with raising a little—and in the car business $2.6 million is microscopic—working capital. The fact that Tesla’s first model, the Roadster, isn’t profitable, and that the new money may be helping to prop-up THAT side of the business, is neither here nor there nor the subject of a court case. So . . . good news! There may be more money on Tesla’s table!
You can plunk down $5,000 for a regular Model S or 40,000 for a “Signature Edition,” which is supposed to come with some nifty features that Tesla has yet to disclose. The company plans to make 2,000 of the special edition cars – half of them for the U.S. market and the other half for Europe.
Figuring half of those 520 orders are for the we-won’t-tell-you-what-that-means “Signature Edition,” Tesla may have recapitalized off its true believers’ backs to the tune of $6.5 million. Still not much. But better.
And what if Tesla doesn’t receive a dime of federal financing and goes belly-up? Although Musk has publicly pledged to back up deposits with his personal fortune, our sources say there is no such language on the deposit contract.
That said, if Tesla would like to email a jpeg or pdf of same to firstname.lastname@example.org, I’d be happy to put the document up here for TTAC’s Best and Brightest to see for themselves.