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Tesla Model S - click above for high-res image gallery

For the first time in more than fifty years, a U.S. automaker is holding a public offering. Henry Ford made shares of Ford Motor Company public back in 1956. Tesla, the Elon Musk-owned Silicon Valley electric car company, filed to do so today. There's no word as to when the shares will be available for public consumption, nor any word as to how much each share will cost.

As for the timing of the filing, Telsa has sold nearly 1,000 (987 at last count) all-electric Roadsters in 18 different countries. Moreover, it has taken 2,000 reservations for its upcoming, more mainstream Model S, which is still at least a year away from production. With the production version of the Chevrolet Volt right around the corner, Tesla is looking to capitalize (quite literally) on the "growing interest in green technology and battery-powered vehicles." Should you buy? Don't ask us. However, King Midas-fingered whiz kids Sergey Brin and Larry Page (you know, the guys that founded Google) have already invested.

UPDATE: Full IPO filing here.

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[Soruce: Reuters]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Yeah! A few more hundred million dollars in Elon Musk's bank account!

      Honestly, this isn't even relevant car news. It's about d-bags like Musk getting rich(er). Usually companies have an IPO so that owners can cash out from their hard work, but ALSO to raise money for more rapid growth. Not Tesla, they already got all the money they needed from DOE secretary Steven Chu (fun fact: Steven is 15th in line to presidency). So there is only one reason why they would have this IPO.

      Look out for the S-1 (SEC) filing to see how Tesla's lawyers are going to spin this. Let me clarify what's really going on. Musk borrowed $500mm from the gov't at very low rates to boost his balance sheet, then release an IPO to get naive investors, who love all this green tech (yes Brin and Page included), to hold the bag of debt. This is while Musk goes on to big and better things with a big bag of cash in hand, while the shareholders are lucky to see their company earn a penny of profit within the next five years (if Tesla survives that long). I guess more power to Musk for making game theory work for him.
        • 5 Years Ago
        A loan goes on both sides of the balance sheet. The money you receive is an asset, the debt you have to repay goes on the liabilities side (note a loan out also goes on both sides, just the sides are reverse, the repayment is an asset).

        As far as I can tell, maestro is right. The loan makes Tesla appear far more liquid (further from being cash flow insolvent and thus bankrupt) and this helps them go for IPO.

        I would also remind anyone who thinks the DOE loans are innocuous and totally different from a handout, that the money to GM and Chrysler was listed as loans too, they'll just never repay them.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I don't think you understand at all how the DOE loan works.

        1) Tesla was not given this money. It works like an expense account. They have to spend money their own money on something, prove to the DOE that it was an expense that meets the requirements of these funds (i.e. is used exclusively for Model S development), and then receive reimbursement from the DOE for their expense.

        2) The reimbursement $ is a loan, not a grant/gift. That means it goes on the liabilities side of the balance sheet. You cannot borrow $500 million and "boost your balance sheet" because, even if they got the $ up front, which they don't!, it nets out -- $500mm on the asset side, $500mm (plus interest owed) on the liability side.

        If Tesla is looking for more funding for the Model S -- funds that they DON'T have to pay interest on -- an IPO makes perfect sense. They can always choose to NOT borrow money from the DOE. They will only draw what they need to from the loan. The $465 is a maximum, not a necessary, and it certainly wasn't delivered.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "loan goes on both sides of the balance sheet. The money you receive is an asset, the debt you have to repay goes on the liabilities side "

        Uh yeah, I'm pretty sure I said that exactly. I do understand what you're saying -- that the loan makes Tesla look more secure financially -- and agree that it does make the company appear that way. But I also think that it actually does make the company more secure financially, so do not treat it as a farse. Large investors will not be fooled by the fact that a loan is not cash money in the bank.

        TigerMil: "With no roadster until 2012 and lotus cutting off their supply of exige bodies.....this ought to go well."

        Yeah, about that. Tesla does not use a single body panel from Lotus. The Roadster's carbon fiber body panels are made by a French company and are TOTALLY different from anything Lotus sells. The Elise and the Roadster share about 6-7% parts by volume, and the majority of those are windshield, side mirrors, parts of the dash, steering rack, suspension arms/links, and not much more at all. If you see the two cars side-by-side, you'll immediately recognize how very different they actually are.

      • 5 Years Ago
      No, GM should be ready to offer the IPO sometime in the second or third quarter of this year.
        • 5 Years Ago
        replied to If it's got an engine.
      • 5 Years Ago
      With no roadster until 2012 and lotus cutting off their supply of exige bodies.....this ought to go well.
      • 5 Years Ago
      king midas eh... i could go for a solid gold baby to fund my many automotive lusts right about now.
      • 5 Years Ago
      it was a nice dream,but once any us auto manufacturer got involved,the same criminal conspiritors who moved the automobile from alcohol to gasoline( via the rockafeller oil interest conspiracy) the same who have been selling out the american people for generations ,manipulating auto engine and trasmission design,to enrich the elite well! there goes tesla a dream that will be history,bad enough they 've hidden the capacitor technology tha t would void the obsulite expensive batteries ,they must have been infiltrated for quite some time
      • 5 Years Ago
      Buyer beware.

      Typical Silicon Valley VC nonsense. They treat their stock as if it were a product and market their company. They they foist the company onto members of the public (the greatest fools of all) and take their money and run to the next startup.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Except for you can choose not to buy Tesla.