Print 7 comment(s) - last by bradykp.. on Mar 25 at 11:40 PM

Payoff of government startup funding is five years ahead of schedule

If the half-billion dollar boondoggle that was Solyndra is an example of the worst case scenario of the U.S. government playing venture capitalist, electric vehicle (EV) maker Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA) may be the best case.  The automaker this week asked for -- and got -- permission to repay its $465M USD in government loans five years ahead of schedule.

The old agreement would have the Palo Alto-based company repaying its low-interest debt by late 2022, the new deal will have repayment finished by mid-2017.  Despite the recent spat with The New York Times, which devolved into an onerous he-said-she-said, Tesla's flagship Model S remains a hot seller.

With most reviews positive and with numerous awards in the bag, Tesla is once more profitable.  The mid-range luxury priced Model S is the key to that.  Tesla spokeswoman Shanna Hendriks says that the automaker will ship a record 20,000 Model S vehicles this year.

But if there was a cloud to be found in the silver lining, it's with Tesla’s crossover EV, the Model X. Tesla had hoped to begin production of the vehicle this year, but difficulties have forced to it shelve those plans until late 2014.  That means deliveries -- previously planned for 2014 -- will likely be pushed back till 2015.

A Model X prototype
A Tesla Model X prototype [Source: Valentin Flauraud / Bloomberg]
Another potential worry turned out to be a non-concern.  Tesla had delayed its annual 10K filing, raising fears that it was having some sort of undisclosed financial problems. Instead, explains Jefferies LLC, in a note to investors, "According to the company, the filing was delayed due to a last-minute change in the auditors' policies for classifying cash flows, and was not due to any errors on [Tesla's] part."

In other words, don't fret about the 10K.

Source: The LA Times

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By tng on 3/12/2013 7:38:41 AM , Rating: 2
the automaker will ship a record 20,000 Model S vehicles this year.
So how many hybrid Volts will GM ship this year?

RE: Sales
By othercents on 3/12/2013 8:31:58 AM , Rating: 2
GM estimates 36,000 Volts sold for 2013. Last year GM sold over 25,000 Volts last year and if you add in the Ampera which is the internal version then they sold just over 30,000 units.

Price wise they are in two different markets, one being pluggin with extended range and one being a luxury car. We know which we would rather have, but which can we afford? Obviously the Model S sales will start to taper off when all the rich people purchase one. This is why Tesla needs the SUV to be able to maintain momentum.

I believe both cars are great and a step ahead for electric vehicles, but we need something more. We need to take a leap in technology before electric cars can be widely accepted her in the US. Either that or people just have to drive less.

RE: Sales
By lelias2k on 3/12/2013 9:05:54 AM , Rating: 2
By "internal version" I assume you mean "international".

You talk about price wise and then go to compare their technical distinctions. Also, the Tesla S starts at a Series 5 price range, which is hardly "rich people" territory. Unless you consider people making 100k rich (they're not).

I used to be a Volt specialist at a Chevy dealer, and I can honestly say that I would buy that car if I was still living in the US. That said, I totally agree with you that we still need more. But that's how technology evolves: one step at a time.

In 1961 the approximate cost per GFLOPS, inflation-adjusted, was US $8.3 trillion. Last year it was US $0.73. It will take time, but unless oil companies succeed in killing the electrical vehicle, this time it is here to stay.

RE: Sales
By OoklaTheMok on 3/12/2013 2:57:27 PM , Rating: 2
I still think GM screwed up by focusing on a hybrid for the masses rather than a high-end hybrid in the Cadillac brand. The Volt has too much pricing pressure, and GM acknowledged that they had to scale back their technical ambitions to get the Volt to the target price point.

Tesla's success just highlights the fact that GM is run by bean counters.

Reclaimer is looking like a !!@#ing moron now
By Pirks on 3/13/2013 5:03:22 AM , Rating: 2
"baah baaah The Bad Government gave Musk my money baaah baah, to produce toys for the rich baah baah"

I love it when dumb redneck sheeple like him stop baahbaaahing at last :)))

Owned! How you like it in your a.. Reclaimer? Musk did you exemplarly.
Hope you'll learn something from it with ya tiny redneck brain.

RE: Reclaimer is looking like a !!@#ing moron now
By tng on 3/13/2013 7:52:54 AM , Rating: 2
So he complained about the loans from the Feds. They have given out enough money where they (by chance) got one right.

RC is still largely correct about government loans to large corporations and still correct about this one.

Musk is a very, very wealthy man with more than enough money to have done this himself, yet he did not want to risk his money. So he invested a little and got government loans for most of the rest. Let's see the average small business owner do that nowdays.

As for the rest of your post, grow up, you are not going to agree with everybody all the time and name calling makes you look like a juvenile.

By bradykp on 3/25/2013 11:40:55 PM , Rating: 2
If you believe Elon Musk didn't want to risk his money, you obviously know nothing about this topic. He ran out of cash funding this investment/startup.

"I want people to see my movies in the best formats possible. For [Paramount] to deny people who have Blu-ray sucks!" -- Movie Director Michael Bay

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