Selling more shares at a higher-than-projected price, yesterdays eagerly awaited IPO by Tesla Motors, Inc surpassed even what company founder Elon Musk had envisioned. Solid investor interest saw the offering -- originally proposed at 11.1 million shares to be priced at $14-$16 each -- rise to 13.3 million shares that opened at $17. The sale generated some $226.1 million in much-needed new operating capital for the Silicon Valley-based electric vehicle automaker, which will see its shares trade on the NASDAQ exchange starting today under the "TSLA" ticker symbol.
Although Tesla's high-profile roadster has had no problems grabbing headlines, the firm has sold less than 1,100 of the $109,000 sports cars to date and has yet to turn a profit since it was established in 2003. The bulk of the capital raised in the IPO will go towards the development and production of its second, more affordable car, the Model S. Due in 2012, this new sedan will cost about half of what the Roadster stickers for and will be build at the revamped NUMMI plant in Fremont, California, a facility Tesla acquired last month from Toyota Motor Corporation for $42 million. As part of an agreement that will see Tesla and the world's largest automaker work together on a variety of future EV development and technology projects, Toyota committed to purchase $50 million in this new Tesla Motors stock, giving it roughly a 3.6 percent holding in the firm.