Back in 1956, Ford Motor Company went public. Flip forward 54 years and the electric vehicle start-up Tesla Motors goes public. Between 1956 and now, no other U.S. car company has entered into the public market, marking Tesla's IPO as one of the most momentous occasions in recent automotive history. The additional funds collected from the IPO will certainly help the struggling automaker fend off losses as it readies the lower-priced Model S for launch in 2012, but Tesla's financial concerns are far from over. Tesla reports that the additional funds collected from the IPO will be used to expand its dealership network and cover overhead costs. Now, starting at $17 a share, are you still willing to take a chance on Tesla? To compare, Ford stock today is worth $10.43 a share.