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Newsweek: An Electric Dream

Discussion in 'News' started by TEG, Oct 24, 2007.

  1. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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  2. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Some actual news in this one:

    Elon demoted Martin.

    Someone has canceled their car.

    An outside source confirms Lutz credits Tesla for the Volt.

    Carolyn wears jeans.
     
  3. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Yes, I thought there were some juicy bits in there, but it has been said that reporters (and us forum junkies) still don't know the whole story of what goes on. I read everything with a "grain of salt" these days.

    This part had me do a double take:

    "{Musk} spends plenty of time—some insiders say too much time—tinkering with Tesla"

    Saying something like that to a reporter is not something I would normally expect to hear staff say about their chairman and primary financier.
     
  4. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

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    I was a bit unsettled by all the talk about how under-capitalized some of them think Tesla is. It reminds me of De Lorean Motor Company. You know, DMC had some problems with their business, problems with their product and their manufacturing. . . But they weren't intractable problems. They were problems that could be solved and were being solved, but then DMC ran out of money. That was the end of it.

    Tesla do have a lot of factors working in their favor that DMC did not have. They have a product that is much more distinctive and will face virtually no direct competition, for a while at least. They have the whole "green" movement and oil price shocks going their way.

    Most of all, they have technology that other companies will want. At the end of the day, if the numbers in the business plan aren't adding up, and the vast sums of capital needed for White Star don't materialize, they can shop around for a corporate buyer and probably find one.

    I don't see any problem with the Roadster as a business proposition. White Star, though. . . That's a tough one, simply because of the amount of funding required to get it off the ground. I'm not that brave, I'd probably balk at trying to go that route. I'd be more inclined to structure a business like Lotus, where they have a small "boutique" car-marking division, and they also have an engineering division that contracts out to larger car makers. (Tesla Energy Group was a tentative step in that direction, I thought.)
     
  5. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Wiki on the Delorean car:

    "Reception by the car buying public and automotive magazines was mixed. Although the early vehicles had impressive waiting lists of anxious consumers, the MSRP sticker price of $25,000 ($62,300 in 2007 dollars[3]) was cost-prohibitive for the majority of the market - especially for what many considered to be an under-powered and impractical plaything. "It's not a barn burner," observed Road & Track, "(with) a 0-60 mph time of 10.5 seconds. Frankly, that's not quick for a sports/GT car in this price category." The stainless steel body panels were an attractive design concept and impervious to corrosion, but in practice the sheen surface tended to show fingerprints. It also meant that the car could not be easily painted; every factory original De Lorean looked virtually identical. Some dealerships painted their cars on delivery to help make theirs more distinctive. De Lorean Motor Company was testing the use of translucent paint to help provide different color options on the cars while also allowing the stainless steel grain to show through, but no cars were sold with factory painted body panels. The only factory option initially available was an automatic transmission. A grey interior was offered later in 1981 as an alternative to the standard black interior. Several accessories including pinstriping and luggage racks helped provide further individuality."

    Not too much in common with Tesla's first car.
     
  6. DDB

    DDB Member

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    I do agree that financing Tesla is going to be an issue. If and when the VC dollars stop, maybe it'll be time to sell it as an IPO and/or to one of the former big 3. There's a lot of public dollars sitting by ready to invest, but it's an issue that only the NYSE or Nasdaq can solve. Tesla, the next google stock. I'd imagine there are plenty of willing investors.
     
  7. Kardax

    Kardax Member

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    A Tesla IPO, after Roadster deliveries are well underway, could generate over $1 billion. That should be plenty for WhiteStar and beyond. The question in my mind is how much of that stock is going to get bought up by established automakers and oil companies...

    -Ryan / Kardax
     

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