Tesla Hits the Century Mark, Says it Needs Cash to Launch New Sedan
These have proven to be some interesting times for Tesla Motors. During the past few months, the world's highest-profile manufacturer of high-performance electric vehicles has replaced several of its key executive personnel, faced off against various production and cost-cutting issues, and even presented arguments for why it, too, should be eligible for supplemental federal funding. On the brighter side, the San Carlos, California-based automaker just established a new benchmark in its short but eventful corporate history by delivering the 100th Roadster to roll off of its assembly line. As a minor historical footnote, that $109,000 high-performance EV was purchased by Sam Perry, a business consultant from Silicon Valley and the same man who had provided Oprah Winfrey with a convenient shoulder to lean on as the two stood in Chicago's Grant Park listening to Barak Obama's election-night acceptance speech.
In a related development, Tesla CEO Elon Musk told Bloomberg News that unless his privately-held firm received a $350 million loan from the federal government it would have to delay opening its new $250-million manufacturing facility in nearby San Jose until the conventional credit markets finally got back into a normal lending mode. The remainder of that supplemental cash injection would go towards the timely completion of development on its upcoming S-model, a more affordable electric sedan which is now set for go on sale in 2011 for $57,499. Beyond this vehicle-directed capital, Musk indicated that Tesla also is asking for another $100 million in loans to help underwrite expansion of its drivetrain program plus $200 million that would be used to construct a dedicated battery-production facility.