NO!!! Tesla Prepares for a Gap as Roadster Winds Down
Posted on May 10, 2011 by yiqi
From The New York Times:
“Tesla Motors has spent eight years building a new kind of car company – one with Silicon Valley roots that make slick electric vehicles and takes its retail cues from Apple rather than from traditional dealerships. Now Tesla is undergoing a makeover as it tries to evolve from a niche maker of expensive sports cars that has never turned a profit into a money-making provider of electric cars for the masses and a technology supplier to bigger automakers.”
“In the interim, Tesla – which reported its highest-ever quarterly revenue on Wednesday – is hitting pause on its main moneymaker, the $100,000-plus Roadster.”
“Tesla does not expect to introduce its next-generation Roadster until at least 2013, a year after the promised debut of the Model S sedan.”
I was fortunate enough to drive the Tesla in California 2 years ago. Sure, I lied about being a rich kid from Malaysia, one who drives a sports car back home, and one who was re-locating to California for good. But the thing is I got to drive one. I wasn’t supposed to because they didn’t have a credit check on my but the pretty blonde sales lady was kind enough to let me drive back to the dealership. How was it?
I WAS A ROCK STAR!
Back to the topic. In truth, I do not think making this announcement was wise on Tesla Motors’ part. Sure you can make plans to become profitable, become a technology provider, and be a mass-market electric car manufacturer, but to cut off the one product that you’ve been selling? The one product that differentiates yourself from the other car manufacturers? From other electric car manufacturers even? Why couldn’t you do all the other things while selling the Roadster, in the process financing some of the plans internally – as opposed to seeking external financing? Dodgy decision making.
There are other issues of course. Contracts with Lotus of Britain, introduction of the Model S sedan, but at the end of the day Tesla should have sufficient leverage to pull something off. My humble opinion anyway.
I guess I will have to set my sights on some other sexy electric car for my 1 year plan then.