Tesla Roadster – Click above for high-res image gallery
Back in the comparatively sunny days of early 2008, Tesla Motors was still hoping to launch an initial public offering of stock by the fall of that year. Unless you've been pulling a Rip Van Winkle, you're well aware of what transpired in the world's financial markets almost exactly a year ago. Needless to say with stock markets shedding value at a rapid pace, trying to sell new shares in a startup company likely would not have yielded nearly as much cash as initial investors were hoping for.
Even with the markets now relatively more stable, it still isn't the best time – especially with the company's financial performance still an open question. Tesla reported its first profit in July of this year, but unless Roadster sales pick up that may not last and, with Model S production still at least two years away, revenues could be a problem. Stephan Dolezalek, managing director of VantagePoint Venture Partners, one of Tesla's investors, told a conference Thursday that a Tesla IPO was unlikely before the end of 2010. With additional investment this year from Daimler, and the low cost DOE loans, Tesla's finances are more stable than they were at the start of the year, making the need for an IPO much less urgent.