• Oct 15, 2008
Click above for high-res gallery of the Tesla Roadster

Tesla is now on its fourth CEO in just 12 months as the fledgling all-electric automaker has announced today that chief fund-raiser, architect and Chairman Elon Musk will take up the mantle from current CEO Ze'ev Drori. Early this morning Valleywag reported that Tesla would be firing up to 100 of its staff and that Drori might be leaving. A call to Tesla SVP Darryl Siry revealed that the story was not entirely accurate. Drori is not leaving the company, but will move over to become Vice Chairman. Exactly what that means is not entirely known at this point, although clearly Musk intends to take a more hands on role now that his Space-X rocket finally managed to get into orbit. Tesla is also laying off some staff, although the extent of lay offs is unknown at this time. Siry promised an official announcement sometime this morning, but we're still waiting.

UPDATE: Tesla has finally published a blog post on the company site (sorta) detailing what's going on. In short, the activity on Wall Street that's decimated your 401k over the past week is part of the problem. Musk has decided to take the reigns as the company consolidates its efforts on shipping Roadsters and selling powertrain technology to other companies. Both of those will generate revenue. Almost everything else is essentially on hold for now. That means that Model S development is being scaled back temporarily and the Auburn Hills, MI engineering office is being shuttered. In the future all work will happen out of the new San Jose CA HQ. The slowdown will be in effect until Tesla is able to tap into low cost DOE loans that will help pay for development of the Model S and construction of the factory. Production of the sedan is now pushed back at least six months to mid-2011. Musk acknowledged a head count reduction, (aka lay offs) but didn't reveal how extensive that would be.


[Source: Tesla Motors]


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  • 32 Comments
      Jim Pierce
      • 6 Years Ago
      Saw a Tesla Roadster when I was westbound on 92 going to Half Moon Bay recently. They will go down the tubes if they don't figure out what will really sell: light and medium-duty electric delivery trucks. All goods must move in the market place, and trucks are what the goods are moved by daily. Want more info.? See the smithelectricvehicles.com website. You don't need to drive in your car every day but goods do need to be delivered every day. If they introduce light and medium-duty electric trucks, these will outsell the Roadster by a factor of 10+.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Looks like Elon Musk might just run this company into ground. Oh too bad it had such promise (assuming that you can count Hype towards promise rigth?.. if not then i guess it was just all hype). Here's to the Tesla getting a feature in a film akin to what Back to the Future did for Delorean, and then we can all forget about it when it goes under, then rediscover it in 20 years as a boutique collectors item.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm a bit less pessimistic than what seems the majority of people here, making it sound like the company is but a day away from filing bankruptcy.
      Be realistic.
      I don't know why people have a problem with Musk, and frankly I don't care. I think he made the right decisions. It's not like they're cutting back on their core business after all, in fact they're making it the priority. Demand for the roadster is not a problem and should be well enough to keep them afloat, they just won't have enough cash left over to pursue their more ambitious projects for a while.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Time to crank out another conspiracy theory movie - "Who Killed The Electric Car? II".
        • 6 Years Ago
        It's been in production for some time.
      • 6 Years Ago
      It's 'take the reins'

      Any company that depends on borrowing money to get by is in some trouble right now. And not just in cars. This won't be the last you hear of this.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is why Lutz was smirking on 60 Mins when asked about these ass clown... Everyone can do it better on paper... Where the rubber meets the road, my money is still on the big 3.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Hey Tesla can I apply for the new CEO position?
      • 6 Years Ago
      You'd think a company selling electric cars would be raking in the cash right about now.
        • 6 Years Ago
        They would be raking in the cash if they could A) produce them fast enough in "finished" form, and B) produce a simply practical car that would be a great commuter.

        They aren't. I see one occasionally - which is odd since I'm in a Lotus Elise... and I have to wonder why I would pay $65,000 more for the same car with an electric drivetrain. My car was $46,000, which is LESS than the *difference* between a gas Elise and an electric Elise called the Tesla.
        • 6 Years Ago
        It also looks a hell of a lot better than the bugeye Elise...
      • 6 Years Ago
      Looks like somebody is trying to kill the electric car... again.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Have they made ten cars yet?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yes. I believe they've made over 30.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I kind saw this coming.
      • 6 Years Ago
      If I had to guess, I'd say that they're shuttering the Auburn Hills facility and expanding in San Jose for work culture reasons. I've lived in both places and I'm from neither so I can say without being too biased that there is a big difference. It goes hand-in-hand with what many of you have criticized as arrogant and others might call innovative. Either way there's just a whole lot more optimism and less entitlement in San Jose than in Auburn Hills. The UAW mindset is a plague on Southeast Michigan work culture.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Actually the UAW has nothing to do with the Auburn Hills facility. It was just an engineering shop. They set up in MI to hire experienced body and chassis development and manufacturing engineers. Most of the supplier base that would have provided tooling to any factory also have operations in Michigan not Northern California. Since all the work being done by this staff is being put on hold, it makes no sense to keep them around and keep the office going for now. If and when they restart the work, it wil resume from California, but they will most likely re-hire from the same talent pool. Ex-google or yahoo people wouldn't be much use in developing the structure of a car.
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