• Nov 20th 2009 at 3:30PM
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Tesla Roadster - Click above for high-res image gallery

Rumors about Tesla's plan to go public have been circulating since 2008, but a down stock market seemed to put a damper on the start-up's IPO. Now, the word on the street from Reuters is that Tesla is planning to go public "soon." When might that be, exactly? Who knows. A source told Reuters it could happen "any day," but Stephan Dolezalek, managing director of VantagePoint Venture Partners and a Tesla investor, said in September that it's unlikely to happen in 2009.

For its part, Tesla continues to offer little guidance on the report other than to dismiss it as "rumor or speculation." We shall see...

[Source: Reuters]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Five years from now will I be kicking myself for not investing in Tesla early on, or will I be glad I didn't waste my money? I guess that's a rhetorical question since nobody knows for sure.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I think you'd be happy not to invest in it. With all the internal turmoil reported on Autoblog about the company, why would you? Plus, as a previous poster mentioned, they are $1million dollars profitable on a $20 million revenue. That's 5% profit margin, that means they are a commodity, they don't even have a brand. And if you are a student of Graham/Buffet, you don't invest in a commodity.

        Plus, as a car fan, have you ever seen the interior of this car? I've seen better on kit cars. For $100+k I want something much better.

      • 5 Years Ago
      Well , if we want to stop seeing exotic cars getting "chromed" out by the Middle East.

      This is where it starts.

      I'm all for it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm rather torn by this Tesla IPO.

      On the one hand I want in - it's one of those companies that I think IF (big IF) they can make it another year or 2, they might turn into a big player in the EV world... or chances are, get bought out by one of the more established companies looking to buy up their IP and expertise.

      On the other hand, going public will force them to be way too focused on the short-term goals, and for a company in a fairly cutting-edge industry, the last thing they should be doing is constantly be looking at Quarterly profits. Those will eventually come, as long as they focus on the engineering and technology which might not get "perfected" for years.

      This might be the best - or worst - thing to happen to Tesla. They might just implode or the capitol raised might be what keeps them going until the next big battery breakthrough.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Are they making money yet?
        • 5 Years Ago
        ^^..what you said makes no sense.they are a new company, so of course they aren't going to make up all of their costs in one year. Over time if the company is successful, they will easily make up any development costs..and then some more for the investors.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Whether or not Tesla is profitable depends on how you define profitable. If you look at their cost of production and sales for model year 2009 in isolation, it's possible that they're making some profit in FY2009.

        However if, as any good business owner should, you look at their overall capital costs from day one to now, they're nowhere near profitable and never will be. Given their meager output, how many years will it take them to recover hundreds of millions of dollars spent to date?

        Think of it this way: If you were a venture capitalist who had sunk hundreds of millions of dollars into Tesla and they were bragging that they turned a million dollar profit this year, would you be pleased on your return on investment? Yeah, me neither.
        • 5 Years Ago

        I didn't say the Tesla investors should expect to return their investment in one year. But what if they don't see any return in 5 years? 10 years? EVER? Remember, Tesla only started pumping out cars in reasonable volume in the last year or so, but they were founded in 2003. Think of how much money that capital could have been earning elsewhere -- that's a lot of opportunity cost.

        Unless you think Tesla is someday going to sell cars in volume like Toyota or Ford (I don't), it could take a very, very, very long time for the investors to see and real ROI, if ever. Tesla's technology dictates cars that their are gonig to be very expensive so they will be relegated to niche markets for years while the Toyotas and Fords of the world own the mainstream, even with green vehicles.

        Do you honestly believe the Tesla S will only cost $57K with all that they've promised? Remember, the Tesla Roadtser was orginally promised fro $92,000, but the final price shot up to $109,000. Even if the Tes;a S comes in around $65K, it will face very stiff competition -- not too mnay people will jump out of their trusty BMWs, Audis, Mercedes and Lexus' to take a chance on the Tesla S -- it will be a very low volume car.

        So, how are the investors going to see their hundreds of millions of dollars? They won't.
        • 5 Years Ago

        "Tesla said it had achieved overall corporate profitability in July with about $1 million of earnings on revenue of $20 million."

      • 5 Years Ago
      If only Fisker's IPO was on the horizon that would be better. Analysts are more excited about Fisker's work than Tesla anyways, Tesla has to stay out the papers for bad management practices if they hope for a strong sale. But they probably will be successful with their IPO nonetheless.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Just threw down for some shares of QTWW myself. Seems pretty undervalued right now and Fisker should be doing some good R&D with all that loan money they received. With QTWW at $1.20 a share and less than 100m shares out, it seems like it's worth the risk.
      • 5 Years Ago
      During the Dot Com hysterial of the '90's, people were happy to give their money to firms making no money. The bubble burst and many people lost their investments. Tesla seems to be no different. While Tesla is a neat car, it has a very limited market and with the advent of automotive lithium batteries, what advantage does the company have? Lotus is now offering bodies to any electric car startup. Competition is emerging from other companies as well as the major players. The auto industry is a tough business and few survive. Will Tesla survive as a boutique auto company? It is a risky investment.
      • 5 Years Ago
      horrible company. horrible cars. 100k for a rebadged lotus elise with powerpacks? i love how they brag about selling 100 or something. yay 100! chevy will sell 100 volts every few hours.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I wouldn't invest in a boutique company unless it had some proprietary technology that another, larger manufacturer wanted. But Tesla doesn't. They have taken a Lotus body and ordered some laptop batteries for it. There is nothing to buy into.

      Going public has been, in the past, the last act in a lot of shady plays.
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