TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

How many Roadsters will be produced?

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by benji4, Feb 28, 2011.

  1. benji4

    benji4 Roadster 2.5 #0476

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2010
    Messages:
    438
    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    The Feb. Tesla Motors newsletter states:

    Okay, now we know how many Roadsters will be built, but... there was no "original commitment" or plan to keep the Roadster a collector's item. That's probably just a convenient way of saying only a couple thoasand of them could be sold! For example, just under 3 short years ago then CEO Ze'ev Drori mentions in a blog entry on the Tesla site "We have begun regular production of the Tesla Roadster":

    (March 17, 2008)

    That would mean we should have about 6000 on the road now if thoasands means at least 2,000 x 3 years ago when he said it. Well, better to keep it a collector's item I think! :smile:
     
  2. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2010
    Messages:
    15,853
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    I certainly don't remember any "collector's item" promise, and google didn't turn up any mention of it... but it sure makes the phase-out sound a like a good thing to owners / potential owners.

    I guess the take-away here is that Tesla is not immune to using spin.
     
  3. suxxer

    suxxer ElektroVolt

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2010
    Messages:
    294
    Location:
    Zurich, Switzerland
    From Quarterly Report 10.Aug 2010:

    We have a supply agreement with Lotus, which we amended in March 2010, pursuant to which we are obligated to purchase a minimum of 2,400 Tesla Roadster vehicles or gliders over the term of the agreement, which will expire in December 2011.

    We currently intend to manufacture gliders with Lotus for our current generation Tesla Roadster until December 2011. We intend to use these gliders in the manufacturing of the Tesla Roadster to both fulfill orders placed in 2011 as well as new orders placed in 2012 until our supply of gliders is exhausted. Accordingly, we intend to offer a number of Tesla Roadsters for sale in 2012. To the extent we wish to sell additional Tesla Roadsters with the Lotus gliders beyond the 2,400 we have already contracted for, we will need to negotiate a new or amended supply agreement with Lotus but may be unable to do so on terms and conditions favorable to us, if at all.

    We do not currently plan to begin selling our next generation Tesla Roadster until at least one year after the launch of the Model S which is expected to be in production in 2012. We intend to manufacture our next generation Tesla Roadster entirely in our own facilities. The Tesla Roadster is a high-end luxury automobile with a current effective base price of $101,500 in the United States, assuming and after giving effect to the currently available United States federal tax credit of $7,500 for the purchase of alternative fuel vehicles. Continued difficult economic conditions, competition from third parties and the availability of the Model S could result in depressed sales of the Tesla Roadster.
     
  4. dwegmull

    dwegmull 2013 Model S 85

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2009
    Messages:
    238
    Location:
    Redwood City, California
    I just got TM's February newsletter via Email: they say they have increased total production numbers to 2500, by popular demand. They also point out that despite this increase the Roadster will still be a collector's item...
     
  5. Norbert

    Norbert TSLA will win

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2009
    Messages:
    4,424
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    I'm pretty sure Elon Musk said in an interview some time ago that the Roadster will become a collector's item, since I thought that's an interesting idea. Although I don't remember whether that was to be understood as a "promise", Tesla may have said similar things in sales conversations.
     
  6. Jaff

    Jaff Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    3,007
    Location:
    Grimsby, Canada
    True, but I'd be willing to give TM the benefit of the doubt. I'd think it would be pretty tough to forcast the annual sales if the first luxury performance EV in the world...no precedents to work off of.

    Perhaps TM felt that the Roadster might possibly take off in the same manner that most of us feel the Model S will take off?

     
  7. tesla

    tesla Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2009
    Messages:
    8
    Could we expect a Roadster 3.0 this summer? Following tradition, 1.5 (2008/9), 2.0 (2010), 2.5 (2010), 3.0 only seems logical. Anyone think this is a likely move by Tesla?

    -Kevin
     
  8. dwegmull

    dwegmull 2013 Model S 85

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2009
    Messages:
    238
    Location:
    Redwood City, California
    I don't expect a new Roadster until well after the model S is in full production. We might see a concept sooner, but I really doubt it.
    There have been hints of a coupe body style based on the model S platform. THis might be the closest Tesla ever comes to revisiting the Roadster.
     
  9. zack

    zack Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Messages:
    946
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    They've announced that they won't make them during 2012 and 2013.

    Teslas Roadster To Exit In 2011 | Autopia | Wired.com

    Unless there's new news, my guess is that used Roadster prices will stabilize this year, then begin climbing next year and the year after that. One of the sales staff at Tesla suggested to me that Tesla may "revisit" the Roadster design at some point, but it would likely not be a carbon-fiber body and the design would possibly be altered for line assembly, presumably making it cheaper.
     
  10. Nik

    Nik Dreaming no more :-(

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2011
    Messages:
    244
    Location:
    Cambridge, UK
    Maybe Lotus will make them, buying in the powertrain from TM...
     
  11. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2006
    Messages:
    15,914
    Location:
    Stanford, California
    It's true that the original goal was to sell a couple thousand a year rather than a couple thousand total. But it's also clear that Tesla viewed (and marketed) the Roadster as historic and collectible from the start. This is evidenced by the value they placed on the early VINs.

    The Signature Series (billed as the first 100 production vehicles) was originally sold at a premium. Tesla also created a separate VIN sequence for a Founders' Series and gave marketing cars Validation Prototype VINs so as not to eat up valuable production VINs (those VPs were later sold).

    They also placed a lot of value on the first production year. The 2008 model year was extended well into the next year. With the production ramp it turned out that the majority of 2008MY cars (Roadster 1.5) were actually manufactured in 2009. When the next model year was announced (originally labeled as 2009MY then changed to 2010 Roadster 2.0), the remaining 2008MY slots were sold at a premium with at $125K base price.
     
  12. benji4

    benji4 Roadster 2.5 #0476

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2010
    Messages:
    438
    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    What you are saying is totally correct -- it was always supposed to be a collectible, but the original plan as we can see from the blog entries of Tesla's top brass is that many, many more cars were to have been produced. More than anything else it was probably Lehman Shock and the whole economy going down the drain in late 2008 that killed the original plans. As we know, Tesla is not the only auto maker that suffered! But good for the current Roadster owners I suppose to have something that's much more of a collectible than Tesla ever planned!

    It's also interesting as you mention that the last 2008 slots were sold at a $125k base price. The folks who bought those probably feel they overspent a bit since those cars now seem to sell in the $70,000-$80,000 range and more of a premium actually seems to be put on the later models.
     
  13. donauker

    donauker Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2006
    Messages:
    757
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    The Signature Series vehicles had all options included and were actually priced at a very slight discount to a equally equipped later vehicle. Those of us caught up in the sneak price increase actually wound up paying thousands more for the same options.

    The main factor was the need to pay the full price down years before delivery.
     
  14. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2006
    Messages:
    15,914
    Location:
    Stanford, California
    That's right. Thanks for the clarification.
     
  15. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2006
    Messages:
    15,914
    Location:
    Stanford, California
    There were a lot of cancellations of the 2008MY Roadster orders. Many probably had to do with personal finances, though uncertainty in the future of Tesla a as company was also a likely factor. Things are definitely looking a lot more stable now. =)

    With the early production issues ironed out, I'd think Tesla would like to build as many Roadsters as they could sell. So (for whatever reason) the main issue seems to be not as much demand as hoped. Which is why I'm a bit perplexed by this statement:
     
  16. bolosky

    bolosky Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2009
    Messages:
    422
    You have to wonder if the real main factor is how many gliders Lotus will produce. Remember that Tesla didn't announce that they were going to stop making Roadsters until they were unable to extend their deal with Lotus because Lotus is planning on retooling the production line. Before that, it sounded like they would keep making Roadsters for the forseeable future.

    So, maybe what happened is that Lotus had time to squeeze out another 100 gliders. My guess is that one of three things happened:
    1) They're able to run a little faster than they'd planned, so they have spare capacity.
    2) They're getting fewer orders for Elises than they expected, and they're switching those slots to Roadsters
    3) They're falling behind in the retooling effort and so can extend the run of the existing line a little longer

    Or maybe some combination of the three.
     
  17. benji4

    benji4 Roadster 2.5 #0476

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2010
    Messages:
    438
    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    You'd have to think that as Doug says, if demand was more than 2,500 vehicles, and Tesla can make a profit on each one sold, that almost certainly they'd make more of them! First of all, they are losing tons of money each quarter, and selling more of a profitable vehicle would help take some of the sting out of that quite a bit. In addition, the bigger the fleet of Roadsters turns out to be, the more money Tesla can make in the future maintaining them. The converse is that if there are not enough Roadsters on the road, even retaining a support structure for them could end up making Tesla lose more money. Losing money just so that the Roadster can be kept a "collectible" just does not make sense at all for a public-traded company which is burning through cash. I can see that in Tokyo, even though the cars are selling well, that the dealer is trying all kinds of stunts and promotions trying to sell more of them and faster. The evidence just seems to say that 2,500 cars is about how many they can sell, and then time to move on to the Model S which will have a significantly bigger and more profitable market.
     
  18. SByer

    SByer '08 #383

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2007
    Messages:
    1,068
    Location:
    Cupertino, CA
    I'd bet that Lotus does not make as much profit on each on as on their own cars, and I'd bet that's where the crux of the problem lies. Part of the issue with the Roadster is just that people don't know about it yet - we're all in this little bubble, we forget that it's really niche and it takes time for those who like cars in that niche to find it.

    There are 911 customers who are, essentially, customers for life - they trade every few years for a newer one. I probably would have been one had the Roadster not come along. I'm sad that the Roadster line does indeed end, because while something very slightly larger would be more comfortable as I get older, the Roadster is so intently single-purpose on the driving bits (like the 911, but without the noisy, laggy engine getting in the way) that while I can imagine a slightly better car, I don't believe anybody will ever build one. They'll always screw it up by making it too big or put in too many cupholders or 'need' power steering or add some super stupid 'i-GetInTheWayOfYouBeingAbleTo-Drive' interface (and yes, the 911's non-driving bits were pretty bad, too - the Roadster so wins there as well).

    So I think the stunts represent the bubble more (and maybe optimistic quotas with the incentives cut short?) than any real issue with what they could sell had the deal with Lotus not had to end.
     
  19. Jaff

    Jaff Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    3,007
    Location:
    Grimsby, Canada
    I agree SB, and cetainly hope that once the Model S & X are successfully launched & in mass production, that TM will revisit the Roadster & design something for us as thrilling to drive as our current vehicles, but with a few extra creature comforts, easier ingress & egress, etc.

     
  20. Eberhard

    Eberhard #421 Model S #S32

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2010
    Messages:
    1,141
    Location:
    Germany
    Tesla is going to offer a Roadster 3.0 based on the same platform as shared with Model S including all new feature like liquid-cooled AC-Motor, PEM and an adapted interior design. but it will take time, maybe after Model X
     

Share This Page