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Tesla IPO Raises $226 Million

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the ok-fine-but-when-will-they-fly dept.

Transportation 274

An anonymous reader writes "Tesla, which will trade under TSLA on Nasdaq, has been priced at $17 per share, allowing the electric car start-up to raise more than $226 million in its IPO. Investors were expecting the share price target range to be between $14 and $16 but the overflow of excitement saw Tesla increase the number of shares it plans to offer to 13.3 million, nearly 20 percent more than originally planned." Reader hlovy contributes a link from Xconomy.com summarizing the skepticism among some analysts as to how much staying power TSLA will demonstrate.

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Curious Guests at the IPO Celebration (3, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#32734460)

Today Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors, was seen shaking the robotic arm of a submersible BP robot [slashdot.org] at the IPO celebration ...

Re:Curious Guests at the IPO Celebration (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32734472)

You're not one to troll, eldavojohn. Why now?

Re:Curious Guests at the IPO Celebration (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32734488)

You're not one to miss an opportunity to troll, Anonymous Coward. Why now?

Re:Curious Guests at the IPO Celebration (1)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 4 years ago | (#32734640)

You're not one to troll, eldavojohn. Why now?

Afternoon drinks?

In this economy, who could blame him.

On another note: Munsk made his billions by stating Paypal and selling it to eBay; thereby amplifying its evil. I think if Tesla finances these cars and you miss a payment, they will freeze all of you bank accounts and get the locks on the doors on your home changed until they investigate the situation.

unfortunately (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32734554)

Unfortunately in other news the founder of Jigaboo Motors, creators of the nigger-powered car, Gary Niger reported that his company's IPO was less succesful at a closing price of 15 cents a share for 371337 shares up for sale.

Re:unfortunately (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735338)

Not much of an IPO if all you got is 37 leet shares for sale.

Nearly 20 percent more than originally planned (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32734560)

Despite a down market, there seems a lack of resistance to the shares at these prices.

Re:Nearly 20 percent more than originally planned (2, Funny)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 4 years ago | (#32734584)

Seems investors were fully charged.

Stock price already increased (1)

qortra (591818) | more than 4 years ago | (#32734582)

As of this posting, the stock price is already over $20.5. Clearly, some people think it's better than $17

Re:Stock price already increased (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32734620)

No shit, Sherlock. It's a "Green" company IPO in the year 2010. That's like a dot-com IPO in the late 90's.

Re:Stock price already increased (3, Funny)

SLot (82781) | more than 4 years ago | (#32734628)

Clearly, many people don't remember pets.com

Re:Stock price already increased (2, Insightful)

qortra (591818) | more than 4 years ago | (#32734776)

Are you seriously comparing the quintessential .com bubble site to a profitable [cnet.com] and innovative car company? Just because their stock price is increasing on opening day doesn't mean that they're about to burst.

For instance, take - Google's stock [google.com] . There were a multitude of pundits and "experts" claiming that their $100 IPO price levels were totally unsustainable. They looked pretty stupid when the price doubled in 6 months. Sure, Tesla is no Google, but don't imagine that their stock price is guaranteed plummet just because there is a lot of excitement surrounding their IPO.

Re:Stock price already increased (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32734930)

what are you smoking? Tesla is burning through cash: http://www.businessinsider.com/teslas-elon-musk-i-ran-out-of-cash-2010-5-2

Re:Stock price already increased (3, Insightful)

savanik (1090193) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735010)

No revenue stream now; no revenue stream until 2012.

This seems to be pretty much parallel to most of the business plans of dot-coms. "We have cool new technology! What, we also need sales?"

It really depends on how well they can market the roadsters... which they have not shown to be one of their strong suits yet. Time will tell. Opening day will not.

Re:Stock price already increased (4, Informative)

Tekfactory (937086) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735140)

Nope, they stopped making the Roadsters, all work now is on the S-Sedan and licensing their Drivetrain technology to Mercedes and Toyota.

Re:Stock price already increased (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735370)

"Nope, they stopped making the Roadsters, all work now is on the S-Sedan and licensing their Drivetrain technology to Mercedes and Toyota."

Oh..that blows.

Why would anyone want just another run of the mill "family car".

If it's got > 2 functional seats, I ain't interested. If they could have just gotten the Tesla roadster down to around Corvette prices....I think a LOT more of us would have them.

Re:Stock price already increased (5, Funny)

qortra (591818) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735536)

Why would anyone want just another run of the mill "family car".

Obviously, there's a huge government conspiracy to make us think that people want "family cars". Heck, Wikipedia is claiming that a compact family sedan called the "Corolla" [wikipedia.org] is the best selling car of all time.

If it's got > 2 functional seats, I ain't interested.

Sucker - I'm not interested unless it only has one functional seat and zero doors.

Re:Stock price already increased (1)

qortra (591818) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735388)

I read some articles that claimed they won't stop producing Roadsters until 2011 - are those articles out of date?

Re:Stock price already increased (1)

lowrydr310 (830514) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735442)

For the immediate future, the S sedan seems like a niche product. Not too many people have $50K to drop on a vehicle that's really only good for a daily commuter (300 mile range and 45 minutes for a 'quick charge' make it impractical for long road trips). I'm not saying there's no market, I'm just pointing out some limitations (mostly the price - I think I can live with a 300 mile range).

Electric vehicles are awesome, and I'm glad that Tesla continues to innovate and improve. Hopefully they can invest this money and get the price down to a reasonable level for the masses within the next decade.

Speaking of tech investments and IPOs, wouldn't it be nice if all the money that flows into Facebook and Zynga could be used for something that would improve the world, like electric vehicles?

Re:Stock price already increased (1)

qortra (591818) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735294)

No revenue stream now; no revenue stream until 2012.

I thought they were selling the current roadster through 2011 [wired.com] .

What, we also need sales?

They are aware that they need sales. As I mentioned before, they have at one point turned a profit (though they aren't right now, as an anon pointed out). The co-founder of Tesla, Elon Musk [wikipedia.org] previously co-founded Paypal which was (is) quite profitable. I don't think that Musk needs to be schooled on how to make a business plan.

It really depends on how well they can market the roadsters

I would think it would depend on how well they can market their Model S since that will be their bread and butter starting in 2012. It will be their first car in the slightly more accessible $50,000 price range.

Re:Stock price already increased (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32734822)

$21.85 at 2:58 pm. Holy shit, did we just Slashdot the market?

Re:Stock price already increased (1)

qortra (591818) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735332)

No, we didn't. The Slashdot article was posted at 2:34 EST. The stock had already made its biggest gains by then. Plus, with all the negativity here, Slashdot is far more likely to depress the price than inflate it.

Re:Stock price already increased (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32735662)

No, we didn't. The Slashdot article was posted at 2:34 EST. The stock had already made its biggest gains by then. Plus, with all the negativity here, Slashdot is far more likely to depress the price than inflate it.

Take a look at a 1-minute chart [marketwatch.com] . That spike around 2:30 is pretty neat.

That Kramer guy... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32734606)

Yes i actually watched the "Booyah" (?) shouting guy on CNBC last week. He was going on about how this was expected to shoot through the roof in the initial IPO but as a company faced too many hurdles (competition, public interest, etc.) to justify holding on to the stock long term. He said get in early, then get out early. Also, apparently some brokers make you hold IPO stock for 30+ days. He said basically don't use them then.

And that's one to grow on.
(The more you know?)

Re:That Kramer guy... (0, Offtopic)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#32734644)

Kramer? Is he the one who's going to have me strung upside-down with a fork in my ass?

Re:That Kramer guy... (2, Informative)

mattack2 (1165421) | more than 4 years ago | (#32734936)

AFAIK, they don't (can't?) "make" you hold the IPO stock.. If you sell within 30 days, however, you are likely not going to be allocated IPO shares again, at least for a while. Yes, I'm nitpicking the difference, but I do think it's significant, esp. if one is willing to risk missing future IPOs.

(I got some at $18, since my brokers weren't in the IPO.)

Re:That Kramer guy... (1)

besalope (1186101) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735696)

Yes i actually watched the "Booyah" (?) shouting guy on CNBC last week. He was going on about how this was expected to shoot through the roof in the initial IPO but as a company faced too many hurdles (competition, public interest, etc.) to justify holding on to the stock long term. He said get in early, then get out early. Also, apparently some brokers make you hold IPO stock for 30+ days. He said basically don't use them then.

And that's one to grow on. (The more you know?)

You mean Cramer?

The same guy Jon Stewart completely ripped apart 15 months ago for causing just about everyone who listened to him to lose their money during the financial melt down of 2008-2009? And at the end of the interview the point seemed to have been made to just do the opposite of what Cramer says if you actually want to make money. He's the interview: Part 1 [thedailyshow.com] Part 2 [thedailyshow.com] Part 3 [thedailyshow.com] .

That's a reversal (3, Interesting)

Mad-Bassist (944409) | more than 4 years ago | (#32734608)

I distinctly remember them saying a few years ago they didn't want to go public with the company so they'd retain complete control.

Maybe this is a good thing to grow the company, but will being beholden to the stockholders be a problem down the road?

Re:That's a reversal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32734630)

obviously they need the money

Re:That's a reversal (2, Insightful)

ImABanker (1439821) | more than 4 years ago | (#32734768)

My guess is that the company weighed the merits of continuing to exist against the issues of giving up control. They've lost over $250MM over the last few years and are probably still looking at a few years of losses ahead of them; that money has to come from somewhere. It might as well be public shareholders.

Re:That's a reversal (2, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735410)

will being beholden to the stockholders be a problem down the road?

I see what you did, there.

Re:That's a reversal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32735504)

"...will being beholden to the stockholders be a problem down the road?"

Yes.

Re:That's a reversal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32735700)

They have lost about as much as the IPO got them. Perhaps it will buy them another 7 years to become profitable.

IPO: It's Probably Overpriced, but... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32734638)

With the IPO at $17, and with it now trading at $20.50, some 20% higher than the already-raised IPO price, it really is probably overpriced.

What makes TSLA an interesting business proposition (although not, for me, at $20+) is that if (and it's a huge "if") they can get production up and running in a timely fashion, they really do stand to reform the auto industry.

The old model - manufacturers sell to dealers, and dealers sell to end users, but the dealers are franchisees who actually have no real relationship with the manufacturer. Your GM dealer sucks? Your GM dealer's mechanic sucks? It all reflects poorly on GM, and what's worse (from GM's point of view) is that all the short-term gains made by shady dealers and overpriced service departments go to the dealer, not to GM. Dealerships are profit centers for the dealer, but often breakeven or even loss centers for the manufacturer.

Tesla's model is new to the auto industry: manufacturer sells direct to consumer, and also owns the distribution network and the service departments. That's nothing new in high tech: Apple's made a fortune using that model. The "Apple Store" gives a retail presence, but the guy at the Apple Store doesn't really care whether you buy the thing on the spot or go back home and buy it through the website.

Applying that model to cars is interesting - and potentially groundbreaking. In the case of the Big Three, the dealer networks were an albatross around the neck of the auto manufacturers. If Tesla's model works, Telsa won't need a network of thousands of independent dealerships, because the only function of the dealerships will be to provide test drives and occasional servicing. Dealerships will be profit centers, not loss centers, for the manufacturer.

I'd say it's overpriced (1)

mpapet (761907) | more than 4 years ago | (#32734874)

Their cars come in at about the cost of a Ferrari. How is that *not* overpriced for a car that cannot go as far as a Ferrari?

How is that business model ever, possibly, going to work?

Re:I'd say it's overpriced (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32734952)

Don't forget that not just can't they go as far as a Ferrari, refilling them takes a day.

It's a major issue with pure electric cars, and while hybrids are really idiotic idea also, because you have two motors, the real alternative, fuel cells, isn't really ready for mass market.

Re:I'd say it's overpriced (1)

skids (119237) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735136)

It's not a major issue for 30% or so of consumers, and for a small car company, playing niches is just fine. For most consumers, the fact that it's a sports car with a sports car price-tag is a bigger issue than having to plug it in when they pull into their garage, especially since it takes less time to do that than it does to drive a mile out of their way to hit a gas pump.

Not that I blame them for doing sports cars first -- I mean, you need the torque for regen braking anyway, so why not recycle that for market appeal.

Re:I'd say it's overpriced (-1, Flamebait)

Late Adopter (1492849) | more than 4 years ago | (#32734994)

The Prius is also less performant than cars in its price-range, and has been selling sufficiently well for a number of years now. The car may suck, but if your marketing is good enough, it doesn't matter. Tesla seems to have very good PR right now, I'd say good enough for 5 years of profits before they have to re-address the tech, assuming their margins are high enough at current pricing.

Re:I'd say it's overpriced (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735236)

Yeah, helicopter footage of the highway out of Houston stuffed with cars fleeing Hurricane Rita that had run out of gas, while Priuses chugged along merrily on the shoulders, was great marketing for the Prius.

Re:I'd say it's overpriced (2, Informative)

coolsnowmen (695297) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735322)

As someone who just bought a used prius, I'd have to say that your insult is off base. At an AVERAGE of 48.5 mpg, this car doesn't suck. It is big enough for me an my wife, and enough space in the back to drag around groceries/skies/camping equipment/or mulch. As my drag racing days are behind me, what more do you/I need in a car?

Re:I'd say it's overpriced (1)

TheRealFixer (552803) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735062)

Economy of Scale [wikipedia.org]

The mass-produced Model S is expected to price in at BMW and Audi levels.

Re:I'd say it's overpriced (2, Informative)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735164)

Yeah, because that's why people buy Ferraris -- range.

The Roadster handily beats similarly priced Ferraris in acceleration. It's not the greatest sports car ever, but in terms of performance it's quite impressive.

I'm not going to buy one, but that's because I think a Mustang is too ostentatious for me. :P

Re:I'd say it's overpriced (1)

atrain728 (1835698) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735478)

Most exotic car owners own multiple cars - this probably isn't the vehicle they'll be taking on their weekend trips to Vermont.

In fact, it's a pretty smart niche. Most people that I know that own exotic cars don't even drive them every day, but rather only on occasion. The recharge time isn't a problem for those people, and neither certainly is the range.

Re:IPO: It's Probably Overpriced, but... (0, Troll)

codepunk (167897) | more than 4 years ago | (#32734886)

Ok so I am a consumer in the market for a new car I can buy a toyota yaris that get 36 mpg for 13k new. Or I can buy a tesla for 50k that does not use gas but I still have to pay for the electricty to charge it. I could put 12,333 gallons of gas in my yaris for the price difference that comes out to a estimated 443988 miles. I did not even count the money spent of electricity to charge the tesla.

I wish them luck but in todays environment I don't think they have a chance in hell.

Re:IPO: It's Probably Overpriced, but... (4, Insightful)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 4 years ago | (#32734978)

The Model S doesn't compete against a Yaris. It competes against the BMW 5 series and the Mercedes E class. You're not the target market.

Disclaimer: I own a Roadster, have a $5k down payment on a Model S, and bought a couple thousand shares of TSLA this morning.

Re:IPO: It's Probably Overpriced, but... (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735036)

The Model S doesn't compete against a Yaris. It competes against the BMW 5 series and the Mercedes E class. You're not the target market.

If you can afford a new Merc, you can afford the gas to run it. If you can't afford the gas to run a half-decent ICE car then you can't afford $50k to buy an electric car.

So ultimatley the target market appears to be people with more money than sense; which obviously exists, but I doubt it's large enough to sustain a company like Tesla.

Re:IPO: It's Probably Overpriced, but... (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735132)

Why do you assume that people who are buying these cars are ones that can't afford gas?

Re:IPO: It's Probably Overpriced, but... (0, Troll)

0123456 (636235) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735538)

Why do you assume that people who are buying these cars are ones that can't afford gas?

Which part of "the target market appears to be people with more money than sense" is hard to understand?

Re:IPO: It's Probably Overpriced, but... (2, Insightful)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735158)

So ultimatley the target market appears to be people with more money than sense; which obviously exists, but I doubt it's large enough to sustain a company like Tesla.

Right. Because if you've got tons of cash you're going to drive a Yaris because the TCO is low. Fark no. You're going to drive a nice ride. You can have sense, cash, and still want a high-end car. It's not an investment.

Re:IPO: It's Probably Overpriced, but... (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735466)

Right. Because if you've got tons of cash you're going to drive a Yaris because the TCO is low. Fark no. You're going to drive a nice ride. You can have sense, cash, and still want a high-end car. It's not an investment.

Which part of "If you can afford a new Merc, you can afford the gas to run it" is hard to understand?

If you can afford a new Merc, why would you buy an unproven electric car from a company which probably won't be around in five years just to save a few bucks on gas? Even you seem to agree that there is no rational justification for worrying about fuel economy if you're the kind of person who'd pay $50k for a Merc, yet you're claiming I said the opposite.

Re:IPO: It's Probably Overpriced, but... (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735552)

If you can afford a new Merc, why would you buy an unproven electric car from a company which probably won't be around in five years just to save a few bucks on gas?

Because you can afford to and don't mind taking the risk to have something that is on the cutting edge of technology. If I want proven, I'd buy a Toyota. I reserved a Model S because it'll be fast, combustionless, and around the same cost of a 5 series. Risky? Sure. But if I can afford the Model S, I can afford the risk.

Re:IPO: It's Probably Overpriced, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32735676)

Do you have any daughters in the 18-29 year old range?

Re:IPO: It's Probably Overpriced, but... (1)

coolsnowmen (695297) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735372)

Some people with money care about the environment/politics enough to reduce gas consumption.

Re:IPO: It's Probably Overpriced, but... (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735420)

You could describe people who buy Beemers and Mercs as having more money than sense for not buying a Yaris in the first place.

The appeal of the Model S to these folks isn't going to be cost savings on fuel. It's going to be the performance of a high-torque electric motor. It may not beat the other options on the straightaway, but it will beat them out of the gate which is what a lot of people care more about since you rarely get to exercise your max speed what with the po-lice around.

I'm not saying it's a slam dunk or anything, but in as much as I can understand the mentality of BMW owners to begin with, I can see the appeal of the Model S.

Re:IPO: It's Probably Overpriced, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32735620)

Disclaimer: I own a Roadster,

Then get off slashdot and go enjoy it!!!!

Re:IPO: It's Probably Overpriced, but... (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735044)

Teslas aren't "just" electric cars, they're very nice cars, period. What is the purely economic justification for buying a Lexus over a Yaris? There is none. People do buy them though.

Re:IPO: It's Probably Overpriced, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32735058)

Dear Tool,

You are not the target market if your other car choice is a yaris (sub compact car).

Re:IPO: It's Probably Overpriced, but... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32735086)

Guys, I can buy a base-model Chevy Aveo for $9,000 new, or I can buy a Ferrari F458 for $200,000. I don't understand how Ferrari can compete.

Re:IPO: It's Probably Overpriced, but... (1)

Retric (704075) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735192)

They are in no way targeting the same market as the Yaris. They are currently selling the Tesla Roadster sports car, which has a base price of US$109,000.

The 50k Model S (which is not out yet) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla_Model_S [wikipedia.org] is targeting the BMW 5 Series market (528i = $44,550+ to 550i = $66,000+ MSRP) and when you run the numbers comparing them the Model S is vary cost effective.

Re:IPO: It's Probably Overpriced, but... (1)

asukasoryu (1804858) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735202)

You are correct. However, the S sedan does not target the Yaris market. Telsa's goal when they started was to make a $35,000 model and transform the auto industry. This is just a stepping stone. You should include the value of using electricity which could be drawn from renewable sources rather than fossil fuels.

Re:IPO: It's Probably Overpriced, but... (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 4 years ago | (#32734984)

If Tesla's model works, Telsa won't need a network of thousands of independent dealerships, because the only function of the dealerships will be to provide test drives and occasional servicing. Dealerships will be profit centers, not loss centers, for the manufacturer.

So Tesla will not only have to fund cars, but also thousands of Tesla dealers around the world? I don't think that $200,000,000 is going to go very far in that case.

Re:IPO: It's Probably Overpriced, but... (4, Insightful)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735122)

Tesla's innovative organizational structure won't be enough to save them if their cars are a flop, though - and sure, the Roadster is a cool car and could be construed as being ahead of the competition so far, but it's also expensive, the batteries suffer from massive depreciation, and the economy's not looking spectacularly hot right now. Moreover the regular automakers aren't really that far behind (a plug-in hybrid Prius would be a perfectly reasonable substitute for the normal-consumer-oriented version of the Tesla technology).

There's a lot of optimism priced into the stock right now. I wouldn't expect them to go out of business in the next couple of years or anything, and I might pick up a few shares if it gets down to $10-$12 or so, but a $22/share price sounds way too optimistic for my liking. I'd wait for the headline-buzz to fade a little before pouring too much money into it.

Telsa is not GOOG. Automobiles are a capital-intensive business.

Re:IPO: It's Probably Overpriced, but... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32735214)

I think that model will fail, and I think they bought into that model because they had little choice; I don't believe franchise dealers wanted their cars on their markets. You're not quite correct that manufacturers and dealers have little relationship, they actually get locked into one brand, maybe two if they're big enough, per dealer. No franchise dealer would risk themselves on a startup so they were forced to use their own dealerships (my analysis of their situation, not necessarily true).

What Tesla should do is what Qualcommm did. Qualcomm in the late 90's had the best cell phone technology with CDMA and tried to manufacture it but were simply too small to compete with the big phone manufacturers like Motorola or Erickson. So they sold off their manufacturing business and changed their business to one of technology development and licenced their technology to all the big manufacturers, and in the span of a few weeks the company's stock literally went up by a factor of 10 (only time I've ever seen an 8 for 1 stock split).

Tesla's in the same boat; they have the best technology and a good package for it. It's far better than the Volt or the Leaf could ever hope to be. They should skip the manufacturing bs because the capital involved is too high, and instead license the technology to some big car manufacturers like Ford, Toyota, and Honda to compete with GM and Nissan. The big manufacturers win because they don't have to develop the tech, and Tesla wins because the big manufacturers have manufacturing assets in place to build on a large scale to keep production costs down. I might buy the stock on the hopes they'll do that; if they do their stock will skyrocket just like Qualcomm did.

All stock is overpriced. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32735312)

People buy stock to sell eventually, at a higher price. The person who buys stock as an investment in the business, is a rarity nowadays.

Car dealerships are protected by state-level moats (1)

Scareduck (177470) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735622)

Virtually every state in the union has dealership siting laws that stifle competition, and in particular, the sort of business model you speak of (i.e. an automotive analogue to the Apple store). When I was in the car business (aftermarket sales to parts departments) about 20 years ago, the carmakers had very limited options if they wanted to rescind a bad dealership's contract. There are limits on the number of manufacturer-owned franchises available, too, IIRC. The whole thing is a hugely rigged game in favor of the local resellers, who, thanks to the Internet, are now largely superfluous, or would be if the states would let competition play out.

Waiting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32734700)

I was originally interested in buying TSLA today, but even knowing that stock prices usually reflect the future potential profit and value of a company, I'm hoping TSLA will go down in price over the next couple of years before I put money in it (even below its original target for today, even though it's already up several dollars), simply because a lot of investors will get impatient with it (and may need their money back in a bad economy). They don't plan on making a profit until at least 2012. They aren't selling anything right now, and their first "affordable" car won't come for a couple of years, and will cost $50,000. They have pre-orders for the next iteration of their high end car, but they are cancelable, and there aren't very many of them. I think the company has potential to make some people very rich, but at this point it's a risky buy, especially if the big companies start getting into the electric race, in which case Tesla won't stand a chance (even with the head start they have).

Re:Waiting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32734800)

Yeah, I am of a similar opinion too. I am of the opinion that, they should have approached venture capitalist (or private investors) for funds instead of hitting the market at such a early stage. No one really knows if they will be worth anything in the next few years.

Its too risky for my appetite too.

Re:Waiting (2, Insightful)

tompaulco (629533) | more than 4 years ago | (#32734882)

Maybe the Vulture Capitalists turned them down, or offered them the usual stranglehold deal that vulture capitalists are famous for.

Re:Waiting (2, Funny)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#32734928)

Its pretty damn hard to get a venture capitalist to hand over a quarter billion dollar for anything less than your eternal soul plus interest.

Assuming (1)

codepunk (167897) | more than 4 years ago | (#32734710)

Of course all of this hinges on if they can build a product that consumers want at a affordable price. Considering todays battery technology and the current prices of oil I am betting heavily against them.

Re:Assuming (1)

qortra (591818) | more than 4 years ago | (#32734964)

Considering [...] the current prices of oil

The current prices of oil are immaterial to their long term value. Sure, there are people who are going to invest heavily in the IPO and try to turn a profit in the extreme short term (investors generally buy in for the long term. So, the real question is whether the cost of oil will increase significantly over the medium term (the next few years).

Considering todays battery technology

I have the same problem with this statement - there are way too many companies with a vested interest in developing better battery technology for the industry to stay stagnant. Heck, even other care companies are starting to look into it. Expect heavy innovation in battery technology the next 5 years. Who knows, we might even have a better portable electricity source by then anyway.

Isn't that half... (2, Interesting)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 4 years ago | (#32734742)

What the company got in the form of government loan from the stimulus package (seems like $544M was the number I remember of the top of my head). Also, isn't the CEO about broke?

Re:Isn't that half... (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735000)

1) Yes. Also, several much larger car manufacturers received around the same amount or more.

2) Yes, Elon is cash poor. All the cash is tied up in assets. This is not unusual.

Re:Isn't that half... (2, Insightful)

sunking2 (521698) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735042)

More like tied up to hide it from his soon to be ex wife :)

Re:Isn't that half... (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735128)

She'll just end up with a chunk of Tesla out of his 65% he can't divest himself (due to the conditions of the DOE loan) and a chunk of SpaceX.

pessimism about EV cars or Tesla as a company? (4, Interesting)

sshir (623215) | more than 4 years ago | (#32734764)

I think Warren Buffett said that as a rule companies which pioneered most revolutionary technologies, those which changed our lives in profound ways, didn't make money for original investors... Especially in transportation (think airlines, car companies etc.)

Re:pessimism about EV cars or Tesla as a company? (1)

oblivinated (1001921) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735040)

Hi Google. Boeing. Ford.

Re:pessimism about EV cars or Tesla as a company? (1)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735146)

I like Google as much as the next geek, but I don't know if I'd call them a revolutionary technology company -- more a company that has done things that others had already done, better.

If anything that proves the GP poster's point -- as far as I know, people didn't make a lot of money investing in WebCrawler.

Re:pessimism about EV cars or Tesla as a company? (1)

wdavies (163941) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735684)

Indeed, and Google is a classic case in point. It wasn't Altavista, Infoseek, Excite, or even GOTO (remember them, they invented bidded search ads), it was Google that came after and put together a very scalable and flexible architecture. They refined the standard IR algs, refined bidded ads, etc as well, but they weren't the first movers. Same goes for Ford, and I suspect Boeing (hello, Wright Brothers Airlines anyone?)

Its the person that gets the large scale infrastructure right that wins. What is the correct infrastructure is going to be almost unpredictable at the start of a new technology.

Winton

Good for them (5, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#32734824)

I have to admit though I'm a little disappointed they didn't get the stock ticker COIL.

Re:Good for them (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735644)

You don't like "Tasty Smelly Little A*s"?

$226 million? (1)

tompaulco (629533) | more than 4 years ago | (#32734830)

$226 million? Double that and they could probably build and tool their own automobile manufacturing factory. Well, not in the United States, that would be a lot more expensive.

Re:$226 million? (1)

Tekfactory (937086) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735226)

They are buying a factory in California that is jointly owned by Toyota and Chevy.

Only One Thing I Dislike About Tesla Motors... (2, Interesting)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 4 years ago | (#32734890)

Their cars run on DC motors (or at least get power from a DC source). Yet the company is named after a man who is acknowledged as the father of the alternating current (at least in the US).

Otherwise I think they have a fine product (although I cannot afford it) and I hope them well. Furthermore if the company name helps to make Nikola Tesla better known in this country, I think that would be great as I view Tesla as amongst the greatest scientists to ever work in the US.

Re:Only One Thing I Dislike About Tesla Motors... (4, Informative)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735176)

Their cars run on DC motors (or at least get power from a DC source). Yet the company is named after a man who is acknowledged as the father of the alternating current (at least in the US).

Only the batteries are DC. The motor is AC and driven by an inverter in the car's Power Electronics Module. [howstuffworks.com]

Re:Only One Thing I Dislike About Tesla Motors... (4, Funny)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735334)

Only the batteries are DC.

Well its been a while since I have seen any AC batteries, so I guess that's why they went with the DC ones.

Re:Only One Thing I Dislike About Tesla Motors... (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735270)

Their cars run on DC motors...

No, like most modern high-powered variable speed motors, they're synchronous polyphase AC motors driven by a variable frequency drive. One of the confusing issues in this area is that small motors of this type are referred to as "brushless DC" motors, while larger ones are called AC motors driven by variable speed AC drives.

Re:Only One Thing I Dislike About Tesla Motors... (4, Interesting)

nido (102070) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735286)

Only One Thing I Dislike About Tesla Motors... Their cars run on DC motors (or at least get power from a DC source). Yet the company is named after a man who is acknowledged as the father of the alternating current (at least in the US).

/methinks Tesla himself would be disappointed that "Tesla" Motor's cars require batteries, when his Black Magic Touring Car [evworld.com] ran on free energy delivered through a "dozen vacuum tubes -- 70-L-7 type -- and other electrical parts".

Around the turn of the century Tesla concluded that it would be possible to transmit electrical power without wires. To optimise results, he chose to experiment at high altitude, where the air was thinner and therefore more conductive. As a result he ended up building a research laboratory in Colorado Springs where he conducted some of his most extraordinary experiments; tests that even to this day are shrouded in mystery. Tesla theorised that unlimited amounts of power could be transmitted anywhere on earth, without wires and with virtually no loss of energy. It is not clear exactly how he intended to do this, but right up until the end of his life he maintained that it was quite possible and that he only needed sufficient funds to make it a reality.

The funds however were not forthcoming, and Tesla was eventually forced to abandon his Colorado experiments in what was to become a recurrent feature in his life; no money or insufficient finance to pursue an idea . . . but a constant stream of new ideas.

-Nikola Tesla: Maverick, Visionary and Master of Light [wordpress.com]

Re:Only One Thing I Dislike About Tesla Motors... (1)

asukasoryu (1804858) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735300)

The Roadster uses a 3-phase induction motor (i.e. ac motor). Still working on that wireless ac battery.

Re:Only One Thing I Dislike About Tesla Motors... (2, Informative)

evilviper (135110) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735450)

Their cars run on DC motors (or at least get power from a DC source). Yet the company is named after a man who is acknowledged as the father of the alternating current (at least in the US).

Tesla had many accomplishments. While AC is an important one, so is radio communications, and the like. Some of his accomplishments are in the DC realm, at least due to having worked for Edison early in his career.

Hippy alert! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32734946)

Every time I come across a Tesla down here in the bay area, I make a point of showing that dipshit hippy loser who is his master. Here's my ride. [shelbyautos.com] Look for it passing you on the highway.

Re:Hippy alert! (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735030)

Nice, I guess, if you don't mind driving something so fucking ugly that it hurts just to look at.

Re:Hippy alert! (3, Funny)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735200)

Here's my ride. [shelbyautos.com] Look for it passing you on the highway.

Most people don't try to go out of their way to show off to the world that they have a tiny penis.

Power On! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32734998)

I just got a call from the power company, it was just heavy breathing...

Tesla (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32735024)

Didn't he invent anonymous coward? Or was it air conditioning

I think he was involved in the Philadelphia experiment too.

Worse than Delorean (1)

KarmaKhameleon (1843244) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735056)

At least Delorean sold 9x as many cars before his project dramatically imploded (with no small help from Thatcher and DEA bungling (24 federal counts overturned - that's some bungling!).

If it weren't for Toyota's participation, I'd be wary of someone who has sold less cars than even the miniscule General Vehicle Motors: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bricklin_SV-1 [wikipedia.org]

The best news is it looks like it's going to save the plant in the east bay that was closing down. So that's good karma, but woof - they need some production and sales numbers to take them out of Tucker territory.

PT Barnum must be proud. (1)

scottbomb (1290580) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735340)

People keep proving him right: "A sucker is born every day".

WTF (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735604)

I don't forsee this company selling large numbers of cars, with a price tag over $100,000. You might get several early buyers, with more money than brains, who want to buy "green" cars, but there will be few others willing to put up that much money for what amnounts to "green jewelry".

For the price difference, you could buy a maxed out HumVee, several years worth of gas, and a roof covered with solar cells. You won't see any real "savings" by going green this way.

Unless they can rapidly drop their prices to be competive with regular cars, then this isn't likely to go very far.

I don't know what to think (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 4 years ago | (#32735630)

The last 10 years I've gone from knowing zilch about the financial industry to having a trust level of zilch. I've watched way too much fraud, IPOs of companies designed to dazzle investors and little else, and reckless greed that have combined to produce scores of great sounding ideas like this one. I simply have no way of telling whether this company stands a chance of creating a real product, or if they'll putter around burning through investor cash until everyone figures out It'll never work and it probably never had a chance in the first place.

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