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Tesla's upcoming Model S entry-level luxury EV

The Tesla Roadster  (Source: Drag Times)
IPO gives electric vehicle startup plenty of cash to work with

A vital chapter in Tesla Motors' history has now been written, with the company's first public stock offering.  The epic success should help Tesla flourish in the short term and help its financially troubled founder, as well.

The stock release comes as the company prepares its entry-level Model S luxury sedan to bring electric vehicles to the masses.  The compan also is working on plans for a Cabriolet replacement to its Roadster, which is being phased out, an electric SUV/crossover, and an electric van.

Propelled by these ambitious plans the company's entrance into the world of public trading proved an emphatic success.  The company raised over $226M USD from share purchases.  Shares, which were expected to sell from between $14 and $16 sold for approximately $17.  Additionally, where initially the company planned to release around 11.1 million shares, it was able to offer 13.3 million shares at this higher cost.

The initial public offering was the first for a U.S. automaker since Ford Motor Co. in 1956.  That IPO was significantly bigger with 10.2 million shares sold, raising nearly $660 million (in 1956 dollars).

Still the Tesla Motors IPO was a tremendous success and should give the young company the money it needs to thrive.  Tesla initially expected to get less than half of the sum it pulled in, initially seeking only $100M USD from stock purchases.

The IPO will also prove vital to Tesla Motors founder and CEO Elon Musk. Musk says he's virtually out of money.  Musk, who invested $70M USD in Tesla, sold 909,212 shares raising $15.3M USD in much-needed cash. 

His stake now drops from 36 percent to 28 percent after his sale.  It should be noted that Tesla Motors as a whole only unloaded 17 percent of its shares to the public.  That means that it is still primarily held by private owners -- the largest of which is Musk.

That also means that Tesla is now valued at roughly $1.33B USD, based on the price of publicly traded shares.

Stock has since risen to over $21.50 a share, earning those who purchased it initially, a healthy 25 percent gain.  That price will likely drop somewhat on profit taking, but its certainly a promising sign for this new star.




"Well, we didn't have anyone in line that got shot waiting for our system." -- Nintendo of America Vice President Perrin Kaplan






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