Print 36 comment(s) - last by andyhi.. on Oct 28 at 12:21 PM

Tesla Motors' third generation electric car platform will spawn multiple vehicles

When it comes to modern all-electric vehicles, Tesla Motors is normally the first name the pops into the mind of car enthusiasts. The company burst onto the scene with its two-seat Roadster, and later introduced the Roadster Sport.
According to a new report from AutoCar, Tesla lost money on every Roadster sold despite its $109,000 price tag ($128,500 for the Roadster Sport). Now that production on that first generation model has ceased, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk states that the next generation Roadster will arrive in 2014.
 Tesla Roadster and Model S [Source: Tesla Motors]
The new third-generation platform that will underpin the new Roadster will also be shared with a new 3-Series sized vehicle according to Musk. “This platform will spawn a range of cars in the next four to five years,” Musk added. “It’ll be a more mass-market platform for cars like a 3-series as well as the new Roadster. These cars will supplement the Model S range.”
Tesla is launching its all-electric Model S sedan -- which is roughly the size of a BMW 5-Series -- next year. The Roadster was loosely based on the Lotus Elise, while the Model S is an all-new "from scratch" design. It will have a base price of $57,400, so we wonder how long it will take for the company to actually make money on the vehicle.
Companies like Fisker Automotive and Tesla Motors are currently in the news as many question their worthiness of receiving government funding.

Source: AutoCar

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By MeesterNid on 10/27/2011 10:02:56 AM , Rating: 2
Wait, they just ceased production completely and are now working on a new model? What are they living off of?

RE: Confused
By Brandon Hill on 10/27/2011 10:08:29 AM , Rating: 4
Government Unemployment Checks? ;)

RE: Confused
By seamonkey79 on 10/27/2011 10:18:21 AM , Rating: 2
I have a headache now.

RE: Confused
By MrBlastman on 10/27/2011 1:11:38 PM , Rating: 4
Tesla's business model:

1. Collect underpants
2. ???
3. ???!

RE: Confused
By FITCamaro on 10/27/2011 2:00:41 PM , Rating: 2
Not far off. Government loans. Pretty sure you knew that though and are just being sarcastic.

RE: Confused
By AssBall on 10/27/2011 10:18:41 AM , Rating: 1
Remember all that income you had to give the Government last year.... yeah.

RE: Confused
By mufdvr3669 on 10/27/2011 11:54:07 AM , Rating: 1
I thought that my money went to those expensive wars to secure oil in the middle east. People aren't dying to secure batteries.

RE: Confused
By Dorkyman on 10/27/2011 12:21:51 PM , Rating: 3
And without that oil we would be in really deep poo right now.
...and then Dear Leader makes it worse by blocking domestic sourcing.

RE: Confused
By DT_Reader on 10/27/11, Rating: 0
RE: Confused
By FITCamaro on 10/27/2011 2:04:31 PM , Rating: 3
They're handing out leases in areas that don't necessarily have oil while NOT handing out leases in areas that are known to have oil.

And no the oil companies make money largely by refining oil and selling the products produced by it. They have to buy oil otherwise. So the higher the cost, the higher the prices they have to charge for those products. And the less people buy. They gain nothing by drilling less.

A lot of the problems with offshore drilling is that there is a shortage of oil rigs in the world. And when Obama banned drilling in the gulf after the oil spill last year, many oil rigs were moved to places where oil could be drilled.

RE: Confused
By JediJeb on 10/27/2011 2:48:39 PM , Rating: 2
Many of those rigs went to Brazil where we(US) helped finance their drilling operations. Then we buy the oil we helped produce.

Would be like me giving someone $100 then paying them 10% interest to borrow it back.

RE: Confused
By BZDTemp on 10/27/2011 2:10:53 PM , Rating: 2
Domestic oil is like nothing with regards to covering the need.

RE: Confused
By seamonkey79 on 10/27/2011 10:19:48 AM , Rating: 2
Don't they have the second generation loss leader in production now, though? They still have plenty of time to not make money making cars.

RE: Confused
By DT_Reader on 10/27/2011 12:41:59 PM , Rating: 2
The Model S is not in production yet, but it was in development long before production ended on the Roadster. Even GM has to shut down production of one model to switch over the line to produce something else. The difference is size: Tesla is so small they can't afford to do everything at once and make the switch in two weeks, like GM does. I'm sure this is in their business plan, and since they're a public company this is all available if you care to do the research.

RE: Confused
By lelias2k on 10/27/2011 10:51:46 AM , Rating: 2
They have signed deals with major manufacturers, including Toyota and Mercedes.

Great Company
By Dr of crap on 10/27/2011 10:15:56 AM , Rating: 2
How did they get funding for this??!!??
Oh yea, the govt kicked in cash!

So Tesla lost money on each car sold.
The Volt is break even.

Seems like EVs are not a good business model and that's why they need govt subsidies to survive!

RE: Great Company
By thereaderrabbit on 10/27/2011 10:36:19 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed, this might represent another technological frontier that communist China could do better job blazing a trail in.

RE: Great Company
By gamerk2 on 10/27/2011 11:54:09 AM , Rating: 3
I remember when Integrated Circuits were loosing money on every unit produced; guess we should have stuck with Vaccume Tubes?

All technology goes through a period where it looses money, until the point where economies of scale comes into play. EV's are no different.

Using your logic, we should never invent anything, because it initally sells at a loss.

RE: Great Company
By Kurz on 10/27/2011 12:05:04 PM , Rating: 3
Except that technology was actually Viable, Faster, Cooler, and more robust.

The Cars need at least twice the range (Looking at Nissan Leaf) before they become a viable alternative.

RE: Great Company
By DT_Reader on 10/27/2011 12:45:51 PM , Rating: 2
A "viable alternative" for you, maybe. With a 20 mile commute, a 50 mile range is all I need. I'd love a $15,000 EV with a 50 mile range; I have no use for (can't afford) a $60,000 EV with a 200 mile range.

RE: Great Company
By Kurz on 10/27/2011 1:05:46 PM , Rating: 2
How long will that 50 mile range be viable?
Batteries go through Oxidation Processes that eat away at their ability to hold a charge.

RE: Great Company
By BZDTemp on 10/27/2011 2:16:09 PM , Rating: 2
You may wanna look into 2-wheeled electric motorcycles. There are some very interesting things going on in that world.

RE: Great Company
By Spuke on 10/27/2011 3:00:41 PM , Rating: 2
a 50 mile range is all I need. I'd love a $15,000 EV with a 50 mile range
You've just proved that EV's are NOT currently a viable alternative. If you're waiting for prices to drop to $15k before you buy, good luck. CAFE 2025 will NOT allow cheap cars in the market, especially EV's. And before you say you'll buy used (you won't but I'll mention it anyways), good luck again standing in line behind the other people wanting a $15k EV too.

RE: Great Company
By johnsmith9875 on 10/28/2011 9:57:59 AM , Rating: 2
You know in the old days people owned 2 cars. A smaller car for tooling around town, and a big car for going on family trips.
Its obvious an electric car is for the shorter grocery runs. To dismiss an entire technology because its range is not equal to or greater than what is out there now is a rather silly position to take.

Even with my long daily commute, its well within the range of an electric car's capacity.

RE: Great Company
By Dr of crap on 10/27/2011 12:56:59 PM , Rating: 2
Why are they loosing money?
Why not charge a higher price?
Oh yea, they they wouldn't sell ANY.
Yes there has to those that will buy the first of anything, but there also has to be buyers.
I don't agree with your statment about every new product loosing money.

At some higher price point sales take a nosedive. Unless you have a product that is really good and is better than whats out there now. EV, hybrids are not that much better than the "normal" cars.
To be in business and sell your wares at a loss is NOT a good idea. If it truely is a good product sales will increase and your cost will come down. Basic econ, but these EVs just can't be selling at a loss. How are they getting funding if that is truely the case?

RE: Great Company
By Spuke on 10/27/2011 3:04:10 PM , Rating: 2
How are they getting funding if that is truely the case?
One word? Solyndra.

RE: Great Company
By johnsmith9875 on 10/28/2011 9:51:41 AM , Rating: 2
Solyndra is more of a case of free market executive theivery than any problem with an electric infrastructure.

RE: Great Company
By V-Money on 10/27/2011 2:28:30 PM , Rating: 2
Look at the Prius story, it didn't go as smoothly as hoped and not many people (even in the company) thought it would be as successful as it is now, and they lost money on the first batch.
It is still early in its phase, eventually as time goes on battery capacity will go up, weight will go down, and prices will become more affordable. As for government funding, thats a different argument I'm not getting into.

RE: Great Company
By johnsmith9875 on 10/28/2011 9:53:29 AM , Rating: 2
I remember when a light emitting diode cost $20 retail at Radio Shack.
There weren't luddites whining, saying we should go back to light bulbs on control panels. You know some folks have vision about the future and about technology.

hold on
By Beezoboy on 10/27/2011 11:00:45 AM , Rating: 2
The Government may be giving them money too, but they did get 50 million from Toyota.

Also, they are arguably the most "cutting edge" company in electric cars right now, so in this case I think the investment isn't completely without thought.


RE: hold on
By wyrmslair on 10/27/2011 1:27:19 PM , Rating: 2
Don't forget that Musk himself is worth $672M currently and that's without tapping on the shoulders of any of his other friends with $$$benefits$$$. He's also an engineer with the ability to plan, so I'm sure that he has a roadmap that includes these kinds of situations as a part of the R&D process. I'd bet my own extremely meager cash that the gov't infusion was just a bonus to them and the Toyota deal was probably an excellent cash efficiency catalyst.

RE: hold on
By BZDTemp on 10/27/2011 2:31:21 PM , Rating: 2
Also, they are arguably the most "cutting edge" company in electric cars right now

Sure about that? It's a market a lot of players want in to. Here is one you know but may have forgotten:

and here is one that's "cutting edge" in another way (battery replace stations):

By undummy on 10/27/2011 11:06:53 AM , Rating: 2
Don't worry. They'll do just fine in the future. Just look at Solyndra...

RE: hahahahaha
By johnsmith9875 on 10/28/2011 9:55:16 AM , Rating: 2
One badly run solar company fails, 1000 more are doing well.

Yep, solar power is a massive failure, its not like oil companies have gone broke ( oh wait they have and do all the time).

By johnsmith9875 on 10/28/2011 9:50:11 AM , Rating: 2
They take too long to get from concept to production. The longer you wait, the more salaries, research money and executive pay you dole out.

How hard is it to make an electric car??? Its got 50% less parts than a regular car and frankly the technology isn't exactly groundbreaking. Alan Cocconi made the engine controller over 10 years ago, thats most of it right there.

Do some research?
By andyhi on 10/28/2011 12:21:02 PM , Rating: 2
Does anyone do their research anymore? If you look at Tesla's financial reporting, and historical news, they have definately NOT been losing money on each roadster sold lately.

There is a big difference between reporting a loss in the quarter, and selling for a per unit loss. They're losing money because they're putting r&d money into buliding a new factory, which is fairly easy to find if you spend more than 2 minutes writing a blog post.

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