• 82
2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S front 3/4 view

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S rear 3/4 view

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S front 3/4 view

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S rear 3/4 view

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S side view

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S front view

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S rear view

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S front 3/4 view

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S rear 3/4 view

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S headlight

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S logo

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S wheel

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S side marker

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S door handle

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S brake light

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S taillight

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S logo

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S logo

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S badge

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S badge

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S front cargo area

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S rear cargo area

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S interior

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S interior

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S interior

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S steering wheel

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S front seats

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S front seats

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S rear seats

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S digital display

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S digital display

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S steering wheel

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S steering wheel controls

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S steering wheel controls

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S dash

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S emergency button

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S center arm rest

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S touch screen

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S touch screen

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S touch screen

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S touch screen

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S touch screen

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S touch screen

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S touch screen

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S touch screen

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S VIN display

Unless Tesla Motors can secure outside funding, the company will be in dire financial straits during 2013, says MarketWatch tech investor John Shinal. In fact, if Tesla hadn't received hundreds of millions of dollars from the federal government in 2012, its financials would already be gasping for air, he said.

Tesla is a candidate for stock market collapse this year, unless it can secure additional cash, Shinal said. Despite its sketchy numbers, Tesla has managed to move its stock value up more than 30 percent since early November, he acknowledged. Tesla's stock has moved within a tight range, between $33 and $35 a share.

Shinal said the Tesla's financials were worse off than struggling post-IPO internet companies Zygna and Groupon. "As of September 30, Tesla had cash and short-term securities of $86 million, down from $280 million at the start of the year," he stated. "That leaves Tesla with less than six months' worth of cash, given that it burned through almost $200 million during the first nine months of 2012." Tesla had "no comment" about all this when contacted by AutoblogGreen.

Tesla Motors very much needs strong sales of its Model S, and to do that it will need to continue to ramp up production so sales meet the company's funding needs. Tesla might also need to find more outside investors, similar to the relationships established with Daimler and Toyota. Tesla could tap into its reputation for providing advanced electric vehicle powertrain technology, and could seek investments from other established automakers.

Despite Shinal playing Chicken Little, Tesla's financial conditions were starting to look a bit brighter in late 2012. It is paying back its federal loan earlier than anticipated and has indeed started ramping up production volume to take advantage strong demand. We agree with Shinal that 2013 will be a benchmark year for Tesla, whichever way things go.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 82 Comments
      Joeviocoe
      • 2 Years Ago
      This whole article is a repeat with ZERO new information! The original AB article got over 280 comments... and ABG is jealous. So they rewrote the article. Self-plagarization. Boycott please.
      Giza Plateau
      • 2 Years Ago
      Grendal, http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/14/autoshow-tesla-profit-idUSL2N0AJ07G20130114 "Musk told reporters after his remarks that a quarterly profit was more likely toward the end of 2013, rather than the beginning of the year."
        Grendal
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Giza Plateau
        Thanks for the reference. That's not too unexpected. Here's another quote from the same article: "The 10-year-old electric car maker has reached its target production rate for the Model S of 20,000 a year-" That's 80 cars a day and 400 cars in a week. $1.6 billion in revenue for the year. They have said they want to make more cars than 20K. That makes sense since they are selling around 400 cars a week for a while now. They need to increase production to start knocking down the reservation list to a reasonable level.
          Grendal
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Grendal
          Cash flow positive was a good sign. As others have mentioned, "cash flow positive" is not the same as profitable. Profitable means that everything has to come together perfectly which is why it takes a while to happen. Besides, they have lots of expenses to cover and bills to pay as you have pointed out. None of that means that they aren't making profit.
          Giza Plateau
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Grendal
          No grendal, it wasn't a good sign. It was a lie. Elon lied.
          raktmn
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Grendal
          In addition to cash flow positive not meaning the exact same thing as profitable, companies can have profitable product line, while still not showing a profitable quarter. A good example is the Roadster. As a model line it was profitable. But since Tesla was putting large bucks into the Model S while they were selling the Roadster, the company did not show quarterly profits.
          Giza Plateau
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Grendal
          What happened to the whole we are cash flow positive thing...
      Giza Plateau
      • 2 Years Ago
      Grendal, it's not technically subsidized but it is for the rich. Just the Volt at 40k$ is bought by people with huge average income. 100k$ Model S is probably in the heavy income bracket. Let's not kid ourselves.
      Grendal
      • 2 Years Ago
      Sorry, Joeviocoe. You had a good idea, but instead of boycotting the thread I've posted a bunch of times. Sorry.
      Grendal
      • 2 Years Ago
      Since this is a stupid article, I'll post some useful information: Reservations reported are at 18,175 as of 1/10/2013. European reservations are 2406 as of 1/9/2013 There have been 400 to 500 reservations since the beginning of the year. The New Year with its price increase has done little to nothing to slow down the daily reservation average. If there isn't an increase in production above 20K, Tesla will have all of 2013's cars sold by February/March. Which makes this article ridiculous unless: 1. Their accountant is an idiot and can't figure out profit and loss. 2. They, for some reason, can't keep production going at the levels that any major manufacturer can. Which means their production manager is an idiot.
        electronx16
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Grendal
        These are pretty spectacular numbers. Keep providing them, it's the best way to refute the FUD. The Model S is really shaping up to become a smash hit.
        David H Dennis
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Grendal
        Zynga and Groupon are both fading fads. Zynga's customers are getting sick of their games. Groupon's customers (the companies that sell the products at half price) are finding the new customers they get are of little value, since they are cheapskates who will bounce from fad to fad. So both these companies are fading fast. Tesla is a company whose products are beloved by customers and the automotive press. That's a huge difference. I think there are two more things worth mentioning. First, Tesla has shipped over 3,000 cars. They were originally projecting 5,000, but they had some production glitches that delayed them slightly. This is unsurprising considering how complex a product this is. Jim Jannard's RED Digital Cinema is a company with a similarly cutting edge product and happy customers who had put down deposits and waited a long time for their cameras. Jim's company suffered through numerous delays - I would say more than Tesla - and yet its customers stayed loyal. I expect the same from Tesla and their customers. Second, Tesla has spent most of the money it will need. Since the car is developed and production is running, the expenditures to assemble the cars should roughly balance with the income from cars being shipped and sold. So really, at this point they should be able to survive just fine off their income, which should improve cash flow significantly. D
      paulwesterberg
      • 2 Years Ago
      Analyst says "Sell TSLA Now!!!" (so I can make money on my short and buy in at $25)
        Ford Future
        • 2 Years Ago
        @paulwesterberg
        Exactly, they did that to APPL an number of times, to get in at a lower, better, price point.
        Joeviocoe
        • 2 Years Ago
        @paulwesterberg
        Agreed.. . but let's not even argue this here... just go to http://www.autoblog.com/2012/12/28/why-tesla-will-need-more-loans-to-make-it-through-2013 and give credit to the original AB writer.
      Giza Plateau
      • 2 Years Ago
      Nah, it's not 27mill a year. You don't quite understand what those values mean. The average of the top 1% is not the entry level. You can't say the top 1% make 717k$ a year. That would be crazy money. It's that high because the top 1% includes the absolute peak as well as entry 1 percenters and those at the peak apparently make crazy money. Entry 1% might be 100k per year. and if you move into 3-500k per year that might be 0.2%. And not all income is steady. Many of the rich get rich instantly when they sell their worthless company to a stock bubble or a crazy larger company like when Skype sold to Ebay for ridiculous money. So their income might be 'moderate' but their net worth could be evergreen.
      Grendal
      • 2 Years Ago
      Boy, do you have a scewed view of what rich is. Getting a loan is hardly being "subsidized." You have listened to too many talk show hosts that don't have your best interests in mind. Here's a nice Daily Show segment pointing out the hypocrisy of Fox News: http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-january-10-2013/qur-rent-tv Those are the people you're getting your viewpoint from...
      ev_ftw
      • 2 Years Ago
      1. To put zynga and groupon in the same sentence as tesla just shows how little this guys knows... 2. Saw a model S on the road for the first time the other night... it's a verrrrrrry nice motorcar. Why anyone with the means would buy something else is beyond me...
      Roger
      • 2 Years Ago
      I hope they can survive. They certainly build beautiful and inovative vehicles.
      Andrew Richard Rose
      • 2 Years Ago
      Another uncreative bloodsucker who just can't stand to see a company like Tesla successful ! It would not surprise me if this creep has bought positions that would benefit from the demise of Tesla
        Giza Plateau
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Andrew Richard Rose
        Take a look at the quarterly reports. Your irate position is somewhat ignorant. Tesla's financial outlook is not good.
        chechnya
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Andrew Richard Rose
        A car maker manufacturing a car for the rich, subsidized by the American tax payer. How could that ever go wrong?
      Giza Plateau
      • 2 Years Ago
      No, but if things suddenly look up I shall gladly stipulate that things were much better than the numbers appeared. Will you be there in February to admit you were wrong when I am right?
    • Load More Comments